Yapa insists no threats to media

3 February 2010 09:00 am - 12     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By Jamila Najmuddin


Contrary to claims made by some international and local media rights groups, the government insists there is no threat to the media in Sri Lanka especially after the just concluded Presidential Elections.

Media Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, speaking to Daily Mirror online, said that if any journalists was being harassed or threatened, they could report it directly to him in order to conduct investigations.

“So far I have not received any complaints. No media group has contacted me to complain, especially after the elections. I saw a statement by Human Rights Watch but they should contact me directly,” Minister Yapa said.

When questioned if the government was conducting investigations into the whereabouts of journalist Prageeth Ekneliyagoda who has been missing since January 24, the Minister said that the government was ‘watching the situation’.

In a recent letter sent by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) to President Mahinda Rajapakse, the media rights group urged the President to halt all arrests and intimidation of journalists working for privately owned and foreign media.

“This wave of post-election violence could cast a lasting stain on the start of President Rajapaksa’s second term and bodes ill for the political climate during the coming years,” RSF wrote.

 It further stated that RSF also reminds the President of the statements in support of press freedom that he had made on many occasions, including a meeting with a Reporters Without Borders representative in October 2008.

 “It is quite normal for journalists and privately-owned media to side with a candidate before and during a democratic election but it is unacceptable for them to the victims of reprisals once the elections are over,” the press freedom organisation added.

  Comments - 12

  • Wednesday, 03 February 2010 01:05 PM

    yes, only for state media

    Thursday, 04 February 2010 02:29 PM

    Mr. Minister, a complain has to be made to the right authority. I am sure that the people concerned have done this. i don't think it is right to complain directly to you since who know the next moment you will jump the fence to the other side. and the complain will be lost in limbo. as for watching the situation on the missing journalist, i advise you to stop watching and waiting for things to happen please make things happen. its your duty as a minister.

    Wednesday, 03 February 2010 06:37 PM

    Do not undermine our intelligence, Mr. Minister!

    Wednesday, 03 February 2010 08:27 PM

    We are far more intelligent ...

    Wednesday, 03 February 2010 09:01 PM

    Ha .. ha .. No threat to media ... only to journalists?

    Thursday, 04 February 2010 11:24 AM

    joke of the day

    Wednesday, 03 February 2010 09:14 AM

    The Govt. accepts that there were threats to Journalists before the Election. Then how could the Govt. explain what happened to Prageeth and the sealing of the Lanka Newspaper office.

    Thursday, 04 February 2010 01:17 PM

    This guy is talking rubbish....

    Thursday, 04 February 2010 01:17 PM

    Yapa = Day dreamer....

    Wednesday, 03 February 2010 09:41 AM

    Most of our politicians do not want to accept that our readers and viewers are sound in their mind than most of our politicians. These viewers and readers have eyes to see, ears to hear, skin to feel, brain to judge and nose to feel bad smells. Sometimes so called politicians do not feel that way.
    We are not ready to listen to anymore bed time stories of uneducated (may be educated but lack in knowledge) politicians of our time.

    Thursday, 04 February 2010 01:48 PM

    I think he has been in deep slumber. What is there for him or Govt. to watch the situation regarding the missing of Prageeth without taking positive action to hunt the culprits? It is more than a week now and the family of the victim has to hear him say such irresponsible thing as "watching the ....." without even a consoling word to the family. He does not show any emotions about the missing of the journalist. What does that smell of!

    Wednesday, 03 February 2010 09:50 AM

    Yes.. No threats. He is right. its only sealing newspaper offices, abducting journalists in white vans, threatening, burning etc etc. Who say they are threats Minister?


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