The Elections Commission (EC) today stopped the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) live broadcast of the UNP annual convention being held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium, EC Director General Saman Sri Ratnayake said a while ago.
The UNP annual convention commenced this morning at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium under the patronage of party’s leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and party officials.
Mr Ratnayake told Daily Mirror that the decision was taken under the provision of the article 104B(5)(a) of the Gazette notification No. 2048/1, which is inclusive of the Media Guidelines made by the Election Commission.
“It is a violation of the election law and specially it becomes illegal during a period where the presidential has been declared,” Ratnayake added.
The gazette stipulates that every media institution shall provide accurate, balanced and impartial information in broadcasting or televising their news bulletins and any other programme relating to political matters. The neutrality and impartiality of media shall be monitored regularly by the Standing Committee of Permanent Representatives on Elections Complaints and the Standing Committee of Permanent Representatives on Media Guidelines.
It further states that every telecasting, broadcasting and print media shall be neutral and impartial in their reporting of matters relating to any election and shall not act in a manner which is discriminatory against any contesting political party, independent group or a candidate or causing a special benefit to any such party, group or candidate in allocating airtime and allotting space for such political party, independent group or a candidate in the newspapers. (Sheain Fernandopulle)