Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Ministry Secretary Nimal Bopage in a media release today said that there were reports of some media organisations and journalists engaging in what he called ‘illegal and unethical use’ of media to promote a section of the MPs belonging to one main Governing party, who call themselves the ‘Joint Opposition’.
He warned the journalists that such misuse could make them legally liable.
“The Government and the Opposition of current Parliament had been clearly characterised today. In this scenario, I have received reports that some media institutions and journalists are promoting a collective called ‘Joint Opposition’ created by several MPs without the input of neither the Opposition Leader nor the Chief Opposition Whip.
“Reports say the Joint Opposition is engaged in an organised political propaganda and some media aiding the promotion of it without any consideration,” Mr. Bopage said in the media release.
He said even the Speaker had pointed out the fault in the concept of Joint Opposition and said the professional integrity of the experienced, reputed and mature journalists, would be severely damaged by such media exploitation.
“Misuse of media in this manner sets bad and illegal precedent and journalists could be legally liable. Various persons would attempt to accomplish their narrow gains through misuse of media in the future. Therefore, I request journalists to follow their conscience to put an end to media misuse and to preserve thriving media freedom,” he said.
Mr. Bopage went on to note that the Good Governance Government was able to improve media freedom within a short span of time.
“This was evident by the latest international index on media freedom as the country’s rank was improved by 24 notches only within a year,” he said.
Several attempts to contact Secretary Mr. Bopage by the Daily Mirror for clarification failed. (Lahiru Pothmulla)
Palitha Thursday, 28 April 2016 04:10 PM
It's time for unofficial joint opposition to for a new political party and be democratic.
Tushantha Thursday, 28 April 2016 05:08 PM
Why worry. Media freedom is media freedom. They should have a right to support any party or any movement. This government came to power with all the media support. when things are not happening the way you want, should not try to enforce restrictions or advice's.
Abdul Thursday, 28 April 2016 05:28 PM
Correct and timely measure
MediaFreedom Thursday, 28 April 2016 05:35 PM
This letter is a total violation for "Rights to Know Information" and trying to blocking freedom of media as well. Let any one express their views, and duty of media to bring those information unedited to masses who will decide what is correct or wrong. Its seems government trying to cover up its failure in addressing issues of masses and also messing up every bit of things what they do. This is not the good governance what Sri Lankans expected.
ibadun Thursday, 28 April 2016 05:40 PM
Rider Thursday, 28 April 2016 05:42 PM
Whatever said and done, this threat means those MPs don't have a right to voice against government..Am I missing something???
Sharon Thursday, 28 April 2016 06:54 PM
Oops. Who shouted against MR for media freedom Thanks. We have got it now. via DM iOS App
D E M O' Cracy Friday, 29 April 2016 01:37 AM
In the name of god, Go!
melda Friday, 29 April 2016 03:05 AM
that means....it is alright for certain media to support political parties who want a separate country. via DM Android App
Unethical Friday, 29 April 2016 03:54 AM
Media Freedom is NOT to abuse the freedom. Unethical practice must be to highlighted whenever possible.
Damian Friday, 29 April 2016 04:39 PM
Thomas Friday, 29 April 2016 04:58 PM
Still a long way to go; in the media freedom index Sri Lanka is ranked only no 141 out of 180 countries in this world !!
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