Sunday, October 25, 2009

Media freedom before GSP Plus: Media groups tell Govt.

Five media rights groups yesterday called on the government to take immediate steps to ensure media freedom and respond positively to other issues raised by the European Union (EU) as a prerequisite for retaining the GSP + preferential trade facility.

In a statement, the five media groups said they wished to draw the attention of the people of the country to the fact that the EU has along with several other issues raised its concern regarding media freedom in the country as well as laws that impede media freedom and threats to media personnel. The EU has said this would figure prominently when the EU decides on November 7 whether to extend the GSP facility or withdraw it.

“If the GSP facility is lost, the garment sector in the country could effectively collapse and in turn thousands of people will be economically deprived. If such a situation takes place, we say the government will be held responsible for their predicament.”

The five media organisations that signed the statement are: the Free Media Movement, the Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance, the Sri Lanka Muslim Media Forum, the Federation of Media Employees Trade Union and the Sri Lanka Working Journalists’ Association.

© Sunday Times

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