Saturday, May 31, 2008

A discussion not a threat- says Government

On the 26th of May Defence Secretary had called in the two senior members of the free media movement Mr. Sanath Balasuriya and Mr. Poddala Jayantha to the Defence Ministry. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the fact that they criticized the Armed forces at a protest on the 23rd of May. The rally was held as a protest against the abduction and assault of Nation Deputy Editor Keith Noyar.

This meeting was interpreted by some media movements as an indirect threat against journalists. Five media movements jointly issued a letter to the secretary of Defence alleging that he had threatened the two journalists. However in a media briefing at the MCNS Wednesday(28) Director General of MCNS Mr. Lakshman Hulugalle answering a question raised by journalists stated that it was a discussion that lasted two hours and not a threat. He further said that although the two journalists hold position in the Free Media Movement they are first and foremost journalists of Lake House therefore government servants. are governed by an establishment code said Defence Spokesman Hon. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella at the press briefing. He went on to say that they have a duty to refrain from commenting against the government policy. The sole purpose of the meeting was to discuss the breaking of this ethic. Although the media may interpret this as a threat it was not so directly or indirectly, he further stated.

Courtesy : The Media Centre for National Security

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