The International Media Assessment Mission visited Sri Lanka from May 8 to 14, 2015 to assess the media freedom situation in the country. The International Mission was represented by several organizations such as ARTICLE 19, Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD), International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), International Media Support (IMS), Open Society Foundations (OSF) Program on Independent Journalism, South Asia Media Solidarity Network (SAMSN) and UNESCO, with support from Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI).
The International Mission has welcomed the important positive changes in the environment for media freedom since the new government came into power on 8 January 2015. These include steps to end the climate of threats against and pressure on media outlets and journalists, the unblocking of websites, moves to provide legal protection for the right to information, an invitation to exiled journalists to return to Sri Lanka, and the allocation of relatively greater editorial freedom to the State media. The improvements were recognized and welcomed by a wide range of the stakeholders we met during the mission.
The mission has also met a number of politicians including Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister Karu Jayasuriya, and Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka. The mission who has also heard about politicization of media – both private and State have also made some recommendations.
(Read full story on www.nation.lk)