Thursday, April 29, 2010

Acting Media Minister calls for discipline in Sri Lankan media

Sri Lanka's newly appointed Deputy Media Minister Mervyn Silva today called on the Sri Lankan media to maintain discipline as a disciplined media is vital to the country's progress.

Addressing the media after participating in religious ceremonies before assuming duties, the deputy Minister said he would work with the media together and called on the media to maintain cooperation.

The country's media should work resolutely on behalf of the nation and the younger generation, he said adding that a proud nation can only be built through a disciplined media.

However, media watchdogs have raised eyebrows on the appointment of the controversial minister to the post.

"In what country do you appoint an arsonist to put out fires?" Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) asked today after learning of Minister Silva's appointment as the deputy minister of media and information.

The controversial Minister is notoriously known for his assault on the state-run Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation news director in December 2007.

"The Sri Lankan government has against distinguished itself by assigning key posts to very controversial figures implicated in attacks on press freedom," Reporters Without Borders said yesterday in a press statement.

The media watch dog called on the Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne to relieve Mervyn Silva of his ministerial post.

“The ruling party's victory in the parliamentary elections is being marred by this kind of appointment, which is casting serious doubt on its ability to carry out reconciliation and reconstruction," the RSF said.

© Colombo Page

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