The Broadcaster’s Guild of Sri Lanka yesterday (30 June) demanded the Government promptly retract the proposed draft for the establishment of a Broadcasting Regulatory Commission.
After being consulted on the document prepared by the Cabinet sub-committee comprising Ministers Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, Dr. Bandula Gunawardena, Manusha Nanayakkara, and Keheliya Rambukwella, the association conveyed their objections in writing to the Media, Transport, and Highways Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardena.
The association told Gunawardena that it unequivocally rejects the purported Broadcast Regulatory Commission Draft Bill. The association criticised the Government for hastily drafting the bill without adequate consultations and expressed concerns about the inclusion of provisions that could potentially have detrimental effects on the industry.
The guild warned that the implementation of this proposal would result in a harmful impact, restricting the media landscape and curtailing freedom of expression, thought, and conscience.
In the letter addressed to Gunawardena, the guild emphasised that the proposed Media Regulatory Commission, which is appointed solely by the President and subject to government control, is a detrimental regulatory mechanism that undermines the independence of media in the country.
They also noted that the proposal is against the labour laws of the country and disregards the legitimate expectations of media owners regarding their licenses. They further said the proposed bill poses a significant risk to the advancement of media organisations and endangers the entire media industry.