Freedom Battle

Nov 14, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court has suspended new broadcasting regulations brought through a gazette notice, after TV stations and journalists sought relief, lawyers said. Supreme Court justice Shirani Tilakawardane had also suggested that state TV stations share its towers with private stations for a fee.

Sri Lanka’s Free Media Movement, a rights watchdog, the Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association, and TV stations Sirasa, Swarnavahini and TNL had gone to court after the broadcasting rules were introduced through a gazette notice.

State counsel had told court that the regulations had been suspended by the information minister but lawyers to the petitioners had objected saying there was no provision in the original law under which the gazette was issued to suspend rules.

Petitioners had said the rules could only be rescinded.

The case is to be heard on January 26.

Court had taken the petition of the Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association (SLWJA) as the main case.

Attoneys at law Viran Corea and Suren Fernando are appearing for the SLWJA.