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NewsTISL warns of two restrictive legislation intended to obstruct the freedom of the press in Sri Lanka

TISL warns of two restrictive legislation intended to obstruct the freedom of the press in Sri Lanka

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Image: One of the legislation is pushed ahead by Ranga Kalansooriya, DG government information department and former Asia head of International  Media Support.

Issuing a statement on the world press freedom day Transparency International Sri Lanka says that ” as we celebrate World Press Freedom Day here in Sri Lanka, processes have been initiated to adopt two pieces of legislation, which if enacted without proper consultations with stakeholders, in this case the media, could be seen as restrictive legislation intended to obstruct the freedom of the press.”

One of these laws, that is a Media Council Bill is pushed ahead without any proper consultation by the Government Information Department now being headed by politically appointed Director General Ranga Kalansooriya with the collaboration of Denmark based International Media Support institute.

Full statement of the TISL follows:

Across the globe, journalists on the front-line of the fight against corruption are facing persecution. Although Sri Lanka has seen a marginal improvement in our overall global score on the World Press Freedom Index, compiled by Paris based Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the country is still ranked 141st out of the 180 countries surveyed.

This survey is based on an evaluation of factors including pluralism, independence of the media, quality of legislative framework and safety of journalists in each country.

As we celebrate World Press Freedom Day here in Sri Lanka, processes have been initiated to adopt two pieces of legislation, which if enacted without proper consultations with stakeholders, in this case the media, could be seen as restrictive legislation intended to obstruct the freedom of the press.

Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) calls on policymakers to institute a consultation process with journalists, media institutions and other stakeholders, in the process of drafting the proposed Counter Terrorism and Media Council Bills.

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