( FMM Statement)
The Free Media Movement’s (FMM’s) attention has been drawn to the situation arisen in relation to the issuance of an Interpol order on 25th of November by Gampaha Magistrate Mrs. Kavindra Nanayakkara to arrest Mr. Sandaruwan Senadheera, Editor of Lanka E News, for the allegation of the contempt of court. This is the first incident of issuing an international warrant against a Sri Lankan journalist.
Sandaruwan Senadheera was threatened at several occasions under the previous Rajapakse regime and left the country as a result.
A lawyer had lodged a petition in the Supreme Court accusing that a contempt of court has been occurred by some news articles published by Lanka E News. Meanwhile, the Gampaha Magistrate has given this order regarding with a matter related to the assault of Upali thennakoon, the ex-editor of Rivira newspaper.
There are several issues that FMM takes into consideration within this process. Before given the above order, the Minister of Justice has made a statement in the Parliament about the action taken by the Government against the Lanka E News editor. Also, leading politicians of the government has been continuously taking a stance of blaming media. Apparently, the government is attempting to control electronic media according to their choice, avoiding the preparation of a streamlined policy for regularizing. This clearly indicates that the government has taken up a policy of controlling media by intimidating.
If the action taken against the Lanka E News editor is noted as an extension of continuous implied and direct statements of threatening issued by government leaders recently, it does not deliver a positive message to the world on good governance. If there is an issue with his media practice, we emphasize that the action taken should be fair and transparent.
Further, there are numerous ethical issues with media practice and Lanka E News edited by Mr. Sandaruwan Senadheera is also criticized for this matter. The Free Media Movement, which emphasizes the necessity of ethical media practice to establish a free media culture with social responsibility urges all journalists to be cautious on this.
Seetha Ranjanee – Convener
C. Dodawatta – Secretary