The Government has requested all media organizations and journalists to refrain from using the term ‘Joint Opposition,’ warning that usage of the term was in violation of the law.
Issuing a media release, newly appointed Secretary to the Ministry of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media, Attorney-at-Law Nimal Bopage pointed out that the the Government and the Opposition have been clearly defined in Parliament. However, it has been observed that a section of MPs representing one of the constituent parties of the Government are referring to themselves as the “Joint Opposition” without any connection with the Opposition Leader or Chief Opposition Whip. It has further been observed that certain media institutions and journalists are also aiding and abetting this excercise by using the term without question.
The statement added that the Speaker of Parliament had also emphasized the errorneous nature of this term and yet, journalists were continuing to use the term, bringing great harm to their profession.
Continued usage of the term by journalists and media institutions would set an “unnecessary, harmful and illegal precedent,” which others with vested interests may exploit in an attempt to advance their own agendas, the Ministry argued. It urged journalists to refrain from using the term in future in order to prevent bringing both themselves and their media institutions into disrepute.