Sri Lanka TV censorship condemned by media watchdog

Standing left to right – Mr. Dinesh Jebamani (Chief Manager Liability Product Management and New Age Media – Seylan Bank), Mr.Sudesh Peiris (Senior Manager – Digital Banking Channels – Seylan Bank), Ms. S.Senevirathne (Representative of the Revenue Department – Western Province), Mr. Tilan Wijeyesekera (Deputy General Manager – Retail Banking – Seylan Bank) and Mr. Malik Wickremanayaka (Deputy General Manager – Operations – Seylan Bank)

Nov 08, 2008 (LBO) – Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontiers or RSF) has condemned what it called live censorship on a Sri Lankan government television station amid criticism of a new broadcasting law. After receiving representatives of journalists’ organisations and media owners, media and information minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa announced that implementation of the new regulations would be suspended for a month.

Yapa also gave the media two weeks to submit their proposals for amendments.

Four people, including Kurukulasuriya as FMM representative, filed a petition before the supreme court challenging the regulations, which were published in the official gazette on 10 October without any form of prior consultation.

Noting the government’s decision to suspend the regulations, Reporters Without Borders said: “This law is extremely dangerous for media freedom. Delaying its implementation is not enough. Its content needs to be changed radically.” “Reporters Without Borders condemns the government pressure that led to the debate programme “Ira Anduru Pata” being cut short as it was being broadcast live on the evening of 4 November on state TV station Rupavahini,” it said in a statement.