They also said that these elements were trying to harm the country’s image by launching this type of protest at a time when Lanka has won accolades internationally for eliminating the scourge of terrorism.
According to S M Sirinivasa, a businessman from Kegalle, the government has ensured the freedom of the people in all parts of the country by eliminating terrorism which plagued the country for more than 30 years.
He said that these elements in connivance with their collaborators in foreign countries are engaged in a futile attempt to tarnish the country’s image. Sirinivasa was of the view that the objectives of the LTTE rump in foreign countries and group of persons who are trying to incite the people in the South and North are the same and thatthey want to destabilise the country.
Sirinivasa said the country has seen massive development in the aftermath of the war and these elements want to reverse this progressive march towards development and prosperity.
Peradeniya University, Sociology Department, Senior Lecturer Dr Vijitha Nanayakkara said that the government took many steps to protect media freedom as soon it came to the power. “The government took great efforts to strengthen the civil society and protect media freedom in the post- conflict period despite various obstacles. Some groups and persons allege that there is no media freedom at present.
We can recall how these groups and persons were engaged in media suppression in the past. It is obvious they are doing so to achieve their own objectives,” Dr Nanayakkara said.
“A free but more responsible media are essential for conflict-sensitive reporting. All media personnel have a responsibility to engage in fair and balanced reporting. They should uphold media ethics and moral values. It is only then that we can create a truly humane society,” he said.
He said that the aim of this so called protest and agitation is to place the government in difficulty. “The government is engaged in rebuilding Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the 30 year war.
It is the responsibility of all Sri Lankans to help and strengthen the government to achieve targeted economic and social goals”. The Free Media Movement is organizing a protest against the government by claiming that there is media suppression in Sri Lanka.
Ven Watinapaha Somanada Thera commenting on this said that there is no truth in the claim that the media was suppressed. “The fact is some media organizations are trying to take unnecessary advantage over media freedom. This is an attempt to mislead the people. Media organizations should do a service for the betterment of the country as well as people and act with responsibility. Media organizations should be well disciplined when reporting incidents,” said Ven Somananda.
“The ‘Black January’ declared by certain media groups against the government is part of a conspiracy being adopted by some NGOs and it is the new version of Neocolonialism, Lakbima News Chief Editor Attorney-At-Law Rajpal Abeynayaka said.
“It is true that during the war, there were some restrictions on the media ,but that situation no longer prevails in Sri Lanka.
“These situations occur during times of war.
That is a common feature anywhere in the world. Great Britain also controlled the role of the media during the IRA conflict, he pointed out. “These fake journalists run on money and have been hired to carry out the western agendas.
“Certain NGOs found it difficult once the war ended. They lived on weapons dealings and armed sales and would never like to see a peaceful environment in the country. “If the country is rife with turmoil, it will be easy to sustain their livelihoods depending on the money pumped in to their organizations. After the war ended,their funds were limited and their luxurious lives were dealt a severe blow.
“Sri Lanka has been named as one of the best countries for tourism. This situation will be further strengthened in the future. Therefore, these elements began to tarnish the good image acquired by a terrorism free Sri Lanka. This move clearly bares the conspiracy;, he added.
Daily News reporters