The joint opposition said today it was shocked by the ‘deafening’ silence of the Western missions over the statements made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe last week threatening newspaper editors.
Former MP G.L. Peiris accused the government of giving priority to carry out the Western agendas rather than fulfilling the aspirations of the people of Sri Lanka.
“This is why these missions remain silence. However, Western missions along with others readily criticized the previous government,” he said and added that they were appalled by the statements made by the Prime Minister threatening editors and announcing his intention of naming and shaming other media personnel who have incurred his displeasure.
“In the case of one Editor of a leading newspaper, the Prime Minister specifically stated that if the Editor in question does not quit his post, methods would have to be found to get rid of him. The language used in these pronouncements, which received the widest exposure, was undignified and intemperate in the extreme,” Mr. Peiris said.
He said similar threats have been uttered, with remarkable impunity, against the electronic media as well and added that they deeply regretted that a government which was elected on a platform of commitment to democratic values and media freedom is today resorting to intimidation on a scale which has brought about an environment of the most repulsive inhibition which makes it not merely difficult but virtually impossible for conscientious journalists to perform their functions without fear.