Press Statement

An authoritarian intervention cannot produce a responsible media

13 May, 2019

Whilst recognizing that we should expect an ethical consideration and discipline from the local media in their reporting of the Easter Sunday attack and the related investigations at this time, the Free Media Movement wishes to strongly emphasize that we cannot be satisfied regarding the intrusive mediation of the government during this time.

Through the Panel Discussion organized to commemorate the world press freedom day and our previous statements, we have continually stressed the importance of media acting responsibly when reporting sensitive matters during this period. However, this should be achieved through a common understanding amongst the media fraternity, after identifying ethical guidelines agreeable to all, and not through a bureaucratic process. The Free Media Movement believes that both the government and the media institutions have a facilitating role but without an authoritarian government intervention.

It is extremely important to communicate the truth to the general public with regard to the current situation in order to ease the fear and suspicion of the Sri Lankan citizens in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday attacks.  Whilst recognizing that unnecessary value can be assigned to unofficial information in the absence of truthful reporting to the people, today the country requires clear guidelines in managing the media, which will close the avenues for the spread of false information.

Therefore, the Free Media Movement calls on all those responsible to reach an agreement for an ethical guideline with the participation of the local media fraternity, avoiding the authoritarian interference initiated and carried out by the government.

Written By

Free Media Movement Free Media Movement

Free Media Movement c/o SLPI, No 96, Kirula Road Colombo 05, Sri Lanka Telephone: +94 777 394 959 Fax: +94 11 257 3279