The government last week published a discussion paper on media standards and entitlements in Sri Lanka and invited relevant stakeholders to contribute to the discussion.
Accordingly, the government has invited media organisations, owners and publisher associations, journalists’ unions and associations, civil society organisations and members of the public to express their views on this proposal.
“The government is ready to ensure legal protection for freedom of the Press, including by protecting the media’s right to gather news and information, by repealing the Sri Lanka Press Council Act, No. 5 of 1979 and by introducing an independent oversight mechanism to foster professional standards with mandatory powers over media outlets,” a statement by the Ministry of Mass Media and Parliamentary Reforms said.
The government had invited the views of interested stakeholders in relation to its proposals to introduce legislation for various aspects including to recognizing media freedom and the right of the media, to gather and disseminate news and information; to engage in critical reporting on matters of public interest; and to participate in the process of forming public opinion.
The discussion would also focus on putting in place a system to promote the safety of journalists and to protect journalists’ right not to disclose their confidential sources of information.