Committment to International Law absent in Colombo's media policy- CPA

[TamilNet, Friday, 14 September 2007, 11:36 GMT]
Commenting that the proposed National Media Policy of the Sri Lanka Government fails to make key commitments which are recognised as international standards of law and practice and which have long been demanded by civil society in Sri Lanka, ARTICLE 19 and the Centre for Policy Alternatives urged the government to "either to drop entirely the idea of developing a media policy or to restart the process from the beginning through a broad consultation with interested stakeholders to determine what such a policy should contain."

PDF IconArticle 19 and CPA's comments
The policy draft fails in "adopting right to information legislation, freeing State media from government control, putting in place an independent system of broadcast regulation and doing away with the many legal rules that unduly restrict the content of what may be published or broadcast in the media," the critiquing organizations, Aricle 19 and the CPA said.

The organizations also pointed out that earlier recommendations of the Sidath Sri Nandalochana Committee on the broad-basing of ownership of the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd (ANCL) in 1994 and the R.K.W. Goonesekera Committee on the Reform of Laws Affecting Media Freedom and Freedom of Expression in 1996 have not been acted upon by successive governments, and the present draft Policy also ignores these recommendations.

The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), a think-tank based in Colombo. It was formed in the firm belief that there is an urgent need to strengthen institution- and capacity-building for good governance and conflict transformation in Sri Lanka and that non-partisan civil society groups have an important and constructive contribution to make to this process, according to CPA.

ARTICLE 19 is an independent human rights organisation that works around the world to protect and promote the right to freedom of expression. It takes its name from Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees freedom of expression.

 

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