|“Suppression of media right to free expression of ideas needs to be condemned”|
|Monday, 12 January 2009|
(January 12, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Douglas Devananda, Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare, Secretary General of EPDP and Chairman of Special Task Committee, Northern Province, issuing a statement on the attack of “Sirasa” Media Institution and brutal slaying of Mr. Lasantha Wickramatunga, has stated that at a time a war is waged against terrorism, the media needs to act responsibly exercising care and caution paying due concern to the society we live in. Similarly, barbaric acts such as; attacks on media institution and assassination of media personnel under no circumstances should be condoned.
Any person in the society should have the freedom to express his or her ideas whilst freedom also should be in existence for anyone to express alternate ideas in response. Ideas need to be met with ideas, but the culture of meeting ideas with weapons of destruction is a matter to be condemned with disgust. Suppressing ideas with weapons on the one hand reflects inability and inefficiency, and on the other, cowardliness. Banning newspaper circulation, threatening, attacking media institutions and assassinating media personnel are crimes against free expression of ideas that tantamount to asphyxiating the very freedom of expression. This can never be condoned says the Minister in his statement. He also says that the recent attack on “MTV/Sirasa” Institution and the brutal murder of Mr. Lasantha Wickramatunga, the Editor of Sunday Leader newspaper, have sent shock waves through him.
The Minister urges the authorities to resort to steps so as not to permit such barbaric acts to recur in future. He further stresses that everybody should respect the right to information in this country, especially information on matters of public interest and that the EPDP respects the right to expression of ideas despite criticisms in the massive role played by the media in this regard.The Minister therefore urges the authorities to bring to book those responsible for these heinous crimes, executed against society and shocked and held everybody aghast, so that repetitions of this nature would not occur in future.
|Last Updated ( Friday, 14 August 2009 )|
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