By Lahiru Pothmulla
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday assured that media freedom will not be hindered in any form during his tenure and said the opportunity is available for any reasonable criticism.
President Rajapaksa, who met with heads of media institutions at the presidential secretariat yesterday, said he expected all media institutions to fulfil its obligation towards the country while engaging in favourable media reporting to uphold the country’s reputation.
At the meeting, he said he was elected to the office by the people with a heap of expectations to be fulfilled.
“Enhancing the efficiency of politicians and public officials, eradicating corruption and the economic development are key among these expectations. I’m confident that I will receive the fullest support and cooperation of the media in achieving these objectives,” he said.
The President said the image of the country plays an integral part in bringing in investments and enhancing economic corporation internationally and said media has a wider responsibility in building a good image about the country.
He appreciated the behaviour and how local media reacted during the recent Swiss Embassy employee incident and expressed regret over the way international media reported the incident by blowing it out of proportion. “Local media also have the ability to set the record straight and rectify misinformation,” President Rajapaksa said.
Meanwhile, the President commented on the city beautification efforts and the fervour of wall paintings currently underway across the country.
He said these new developments are not a result of anyone’s request but an artistic trend originated among the youth who love their country.
The President highlighted the continuous support rendered by the media institutions to encourage such youth groups. Media heads representing print and electronic media took part in the meeting.