President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said he was not aware of the attempt to curtail media freedom by introducing a code of ethics for the media until the Mahanayakas of Malwatta and Asgiriya Chapters told him about it.
The President has informed the Secretary to the Ministry of Mass Media a code of ethics for the media should be prepared only after having discussions with journalists and with their agreement and has reminded the Secretary what the Ministry should do is not to prepare code of ethics for the media but to assist journalists to prepare such a code. Meanwhile the President has convened an urgent meeting of editors to discuss the relevant matter on the 21st.
However, a draft of the code of ethics for media compiled by the Ministry of Information and Mass Media has been published on its web site. The Secretary to the Ministry also informs that the Ministry expects to obtain public views regarding the draft in order to introduce a more productive code of ethics for the field of media and any person, organization or a group could submit proposals and views in this relation’.
Several senior journalists expressing their views told ‘Lankatruth’ having the urgent meeting of editors is an attempt by the government to make available the draft of the arbitrarily compiled code of ethics to the editors and force them to agree for it.