President Mahinda Rajapaksa said today he would permit journalists to decide on a code of ethics for themselves instead of the government introducing one for them.
The President, who met Editors and Heads of TV and Radio Stations at Temple Trees, said he was expecting that the journalists could discuss the existing code ethics and improve on it by including the electronic media as well.
He expressed these views when speaking on the Government’s proposed media code of ethics, which was circulated by the Media Ministry. It was strongly criticised by international media and human rights groups.
“We should not enter into a confrontation on this issue. The journalists themselves can discuss among themselves and come out with a proposal which can be further discussed”, the President said.
He said the code of ethics was not a law and had been misinterpreted when it was circulated.
When asked whether the Indian Government had officially taken up the matter about the 13th Amendment after the TNA delegation visit to New Delhi, the President said he had only seen newspaper reports, but had not been officially informed about it.
He said the Government would seek public opinion on the 13th Amendment and the Provincial Council System.
He also said that the government had taken a policy decision to desist from issuing new licenses for casinos and liquor shops.
He told Editors and Heads of the Electronic Media that the Government wanted to locate the casinos in a single area instead of having them scattered around Colombo.
The President said casinos which did not possess a valid license it would be closed down.