The Rule of Law Committee of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka has expressed its concern over the recent media lashing by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for supporting the Opposition.
“The committee firmly believes that, media freedom which is known as the fifth protocol, in any country, is a quintessential pillar in any democracy, and there should not be any attempt to unduly curtail that fundamental freedom in any way,” the Committee said in a statement today.
While being mindful that unethical reporting has to be subjected to the due process of law, the Committee has drawn attention of all sections to Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which reads: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
“The Rule of Law Committee while being mindful that unethical reporting has to be subject to the due process of law yet emphasises that a legal and regulatory environment that allows for an open pluralistic media sector to emerge as well as the political will to support the sector, and the rule of law to protect it; are necessary prerequisites for the realization of the aforetasted freedom,” the statement said.
The Committee has appealed to the Government to ensure an environment in which fair and responsible opposition and dissent are respected and tolerated and where the media is free to give voice to those who may wish to disagree with the government.
Leelawathie / July 29, 2016
That is right freedom of speech should be given to any one- but in th esame time, to support the wrongful views of a dictator – former leader is no means acceptable. If the press men only support the kind of views to lead the press in the country fooling the nation further should not be carried out anymore.
Latter has nothing to do with freedom of speech. Those the kind of statements that could lead to rabble rousing should be out of the key press. Basta. Be it in European countries of others that are called as developed or other countries that are in the developing mode… they should focus the facts to be outreached to the masses. Just lies.. blatant lies as had been the days of Mahinda Raja .. should NOT be repeated. Press mafia men should finally think about the danger that is being done by them to the easy targets of the country.
InconvenietTruth / July 30, 2016
The word “view” by itself implies that is an opinion, and if there is freedom of expression there should be freedom to express an opinion, how can there be a “wrongful opinion”, it IS a subjective view, similar to the view or opinion expressed by the PM.
Seelawathie Jayasinghe / July 30, 2016
what is not subjectivein this world when it comes for passing info is the question to you guys ? Ever< country that are believed to be open for Freedom of Speech have certain degree of restrictions imposed going throught their social and cultural guidliness… that Journos have to follow. But in srilankens the place filled with grass eaters rather than intelligent majorities… seem to allow Rajaakshes to plant their views going beyond the views of the rulers. journos seem not to see the truth as it is but running after the sums being paid or bribed to them… as had been the case in the days of most abusive leader-MR. All these should be respected by them first before going to support a bunch of thieves that looted the state treasary to that extent.
Today, we perfectly know why the SRILANKEN has to seek countries to support by leases of aircrafts…. had MR regime been that successful as is being repeated, why the bankrupsy ended in that way ? Why they the buggers abused aircrafts thinking that they were their air taxies…
Current duo leaders, have sofar done nothing similar to the manner Meeharaka Rajakashe abused the srilanken airline… all is now aware the level of corruption deliberately being carried out by former regime.
Don Juan / July 31, 2016
May I request this person to take some English tuition in a ‘night school’, out of the 10 dollars Diaspora pay for each article.
gamini / July 29, 2016
The Media is rarely independent. They all have their own agendas. A good case in point is Killi Maharajah’s Sirasa and the Junors who all shamelessly accepted Loans and Laptops from MR. Did this Bar express concern over this at that time? No! They were unheard then. Naming and shaming them before the country is far better than killing them in cold blood as it happened. As much as the Media has it’s rights, Anyone has the right to point out if the Media is corrupt. This right in no way prevents the Media from exposing Corruption in Govt if there is any. Why should the Bar or for that matter anyone bluff with a Holier than thou attitude subverting truth?
colin / July 29, 2016
“As much as the Media has it’s rights, Anyone has the right to point out if the Media is corrupt”
Well said Gamini its time the public too put their foot down and speak up not only Ranil.Now thanks to Social media the mainstream media cannot force their views and brainwash the public to accept all what they say is the Truth and nothing but the Truth.Those days are gone and with thousands now linked to social media people are now able to listen to both sides of a story and use their discretion to analyse it and come to their own conclusion.In the past all that was dished out by the main stream media was swallowed hook line and sinker by the gullible public and when they said “Black is White” people just nodded their heads.Now thanks to once again to social media people now realise that Black is Black and White is White.Times have changed and in as much as our PM now speaks out the public too should voice their concern and ensure that the media speaks with one tongue and acts with responsibility or else the newspapers and TV will be a thing of the past
Silva / July 30, 2016
To whom it may concern:
“Bar Expresses Concern Over Ranil’s Media Lashing”
What Bar” Alcohol bar? What the hell did these monkeys utter when they existed biting on to MARA’s testicles? Did any of these fuckers emit a fart when Namal the silly rogue fucker swindled billions yet bailed out and became a hero in front of cameras and two-legged cows?!
gamunu / July 30, 2016
Why do we have to bark at the past? We all know lots of things happened during the previous regime were not correct with nepotism, corruption and lots of extra judicial killings etc.We voted with 6.2 million to get rid of them and for good governance. This includes freedom of expression and to opine ones feelings. Sadly what is taking place is not what people voted for.
I agree with ” The Media is rarely independent”. Does that include Govt owned media too? You cannot force people to believe only Govt owned media like they were in the previous regime. Do not treat the masses as idiots. Let them decide what is correct and wrong. After all they were clever enough to vote the Govt in, weren’t they?
What the Bar Association did or not did in the past is not the issue here. Then it was a different regime. We voted to get that regime out and it is now history. If we are to believe there is genuine freedom of expression that must be respected regardless of its impact on individual politicians and the Govt. This is a dangerous precedent that could lead to civil unrest that may lead to serious consequences. Is the Govt opting for MR tactics by subverting opposition to their views?
Govt must not be afraid to accept criticism of any kind but to respond/ react positively. They have to be seen to be reasonable and if mistakes were made they should accept them and correct them as mistakes.They must abstain from “shooting the messenger” syndrome.
My feeling is the Govt must allow media (different voices and ideas of people) be them private or govt to air the views of the population. This may not address all ills but should help gain confidence of the masses. If we are to prevent a resurgence of MR activities this must be address immediately.
When people call for change they must not be called racists and crooks, but must address their concerns humanely. If corrupt politicians are to be punished it must be done regardless of their allegiance.
Plato. / July 29, 2016
The BASL had its tail between its legs when MaRa was in power.
The BASL is no longer what it was,when it was referred to as the BAR COUNCIL!
gamunu / July 30, 2016
isn’t it good see them coming out of sleep now? After all this Govt came to power on the back of media freedom and expression.Do you want to see a continuation of MaRa concept?
K.Pillai / July 29, 2016
“Media lashing” is an emotive term. Ranil’s reaction was an outburst. Outbursts against media particularly by those in power must be publicised but is it a serious issue?
“Lashing” is what Mervyn did to the media – smashing up TV stations and the like. At one stage the Editor of “Uthayan” was pulped and he was in intensive care for weeks. That was media lashing.
Examples of media bashings: Going on in Egypt under President al-Sisi. In Egypt media persons are regularly sentenced to death over trivial and trumped up charges. Turkey’s Ergodan has just started to copy al-Sisi.
Wera / July 30, 2016
Well said. These BASL licksptles are none other than the same nasty bunch of sycophants of the former regime looking for an excuse to sling mud.
jim softy / July 30, 2016
Patriot / July 30, 2016
Bar is angry because after ETCA their will be Indian Lawyers taking up cases for three Chapathis.
shankar / July 30, 2016
when ranil was going in a gondola there was a lot of gondolas following him because the tourists and italians were thinking it was Mr.bean who had come to venice.After looking at this picture i’am not surprised.
KA Sumanasekera / July 30, 2016
Batalanada Ranils accuses Colombo Media of telling lies about him and undermining his Yahapalananya.
The New Papers which Batalanda accuses are Daily Mirror, Island and Derana are the mainstream of Srilanakan Media outlets, which caters for the Elite and the Educated and English speaking Colomboans in the main.
And the Elite are the main backers of Yahapalanaya besides the Anglicans , Vellalas and Wahabis.
Do you think these newspapers will tell lies to undermine their own support base?.
Do these Newspapers live on hand outs from Western Government slush funds and overseas NGOs , like the UNP and other Yahapalana alliance parties ,and their news letters and the Electronic Media outlets do?.
BASL are no mates of Rajapakasas.. Right.
Do you get it…
Silva / July 30, 2016
Kawadada umba anthimata umbe maha ekage goo wala ihagena kaawe?
gamunu / July 30, 2016
there is always a different point of view to yours. Just learn to respect other views without being abusive. One doesn’t have to lick S*** of MR to give an opinion. You may think your view is correct but that gives you no right to abuse others. You seem to be illiterate on this. How would you feel if one calls you a similar term? You need to take your head off your back side and view the reality in earnest.
Reading the list of posts in CT it is good to see a mixer of ideas and opinions and that is good. If all medias that criticise RW and the Govt is shut where does that leave? What is your take on CT? should this be banned too? Do you expect us just read Lake house journals that are heavily leant in favour of the Govt?
Silva / July 30, 2016
Ha..haa.haa. I think you haven’t heard of Andi Hathdena and Kandaheliya story! We know what kind of a creature Sumanaya is from eons. And don’t think it is a healthy sign of a healthy populace to be allowed and being able to utter and write any rubbish, misinformation and mudslinging comments like a never drying up cesspit gully. For example this government has allowed people enjoy almost every freedom imaginable but is it sane enjoyment of that freedom to engage in a Pada(da) Yathrawa from Kandy to Colombo creating all sorts of traffic jams, inconveniences to people and losing thousands of work hours of working masses and millions of rupees? What you are talking of is not freedom but permission to engage in every form of sabotage, apple-cart-upsetting and friction creation in every imaginable sphere of civil engagement. We see Sumanaya as a cockroach that must be crushed at every chance we get lest it spreads its cockroach population and disturb our household.
KA Sumanasekera / July 31, 2016
Silva lives in a gutter,,I only piss in it, on my way home from a night out in the Harbour city.
Silva / July 31, 2016
” I presume this guy is from a different caste and some other belief.”
His caste is “smelly Karapoththas” and belief is “Maradetuwas”
Silva / July 31, 2016
“Silva lives in a gutter,,I only piss in it, on my way home from a night out in the Harbour city.”
But the meanings in the muck you smear on the PC screen betray the cesspit you have dug for yourself besides MARA’s toilet pit.
Yes, a harlot like you can only ambulate at night at only deserted places like half-built harbour cities, squatting and pissing on every street corner.
I was wondering on my way to office what bitch was defecating all over the roads in the town! Now that we know the bitch you will soon be paid a visit by catch-the-bitch-squad of Colombo Municipality!
gamini / July 31, 2016
When the Media is corrupt and biased, pointing it out in the interest of the Public can not be termed as Media Bashing. They deserve to be exposed as the rest.
MUDSON SILVA / July 30, 2016
BASL go to hell with your concerns. Under Yahapalanaya none of the media outlets were claymore bombed or set on fire, destroyed Journos killed, maimed, injured seeked asylum abroad in fear. What Ranil said is the truth. Sirasa, Derana , Hiru, Island,Ceylon Today all have their political agendas and directly or covertly helping the Joint Opposition.
Bunjappu / July 30, 2016
Yes, if one would closely study it the levels they stand by Joint Oppposition thugs
1) Sirasa – to some 40% – why they did not carry out Gamin gamata programs in the days of MR – ? Today not even letting the rulers do their job in their first term, they rabble rouse the easy targets in the villages….. who would pluck the fruits – Joint opposition will take the advantage.
2) Hiru – to some 49%
3) Derana – to some 60 %
4) Island – to some 55%
5) Ceylon Today- to some 60 %
Yapa / July 30, 2016
Ranil is PM,MS is president.Both of them to a certain extent showed their displeasure publicly in the last few days at the media reporting with crystal clear evidence. What was BASL doing when some Media (TV) even went on attacking Ranil using disgraceful cartoons to convince that he should not be voted in which people wisely rejected.BASL should admit that some their members do not believe in ethics as most of them now travel in prison buses which never happened in the past.BASL, please live up to your profession, do not let down those few who still like to practice this respectable, noble profession.If your thinking do not agree with PM’s comments on media you are doing a big damage to the society.BASL should advise the media of their responsibilities instead of being critical of what PM says.That is what people expect from a decent profession.
Samuel Jayaweera / July 30, 2016
All sane ones will agree with you.
BASL was blind and deaf at the time, all was against the average of the country but it looked as Rajapakshes diverse kind of idiotic acts should guide the society not respecting the basics of the human rights. This was already noticed by respective UNO bodies and that is why they already named the MR regime as totalitarian – one.
Please go back to the archives of the news items from 2009 onwards and compare them for your own information.
Today we talk about the rights – and even JO does it more than anyone else, as if they respected the least rights of the people.
Gotabaya was seen to the average as a Wadakaya of the day – just becasue MR term put the end to the war – with collective assistance of all three forces and the backing of the civil society – we must not let them abuse the nation. But MR did it.. all these were proved…
jay gunasekara / July 30, 2016
Reading the comments frequently I notice Sumanasekara has a chip on his shoulder against velllala’,anglicans,columbian and now Wahabi’s added to the mix. I presume this guy is from a different caste and some other belief.In most cases the majority remain in the religeon they they were born into.I thank my lucky stars that I was born to a anglican family that gave me the independance of thought that Iam a existentialist now.Sumane be a bit more classy before you make crass remaks.
KA Sumanasekera / July 31, 2016
No problem with “chips”mate.
Sinhala Buddhist Faction of the UNP is lead by opportunistic, greedy, money hungry souls.
They do not care about the way the West and the Diaspora have recruited Batalanada Ranil to destroy what ever influences the Sinhala Buddhist have gained for the first time since independence ,after eliminating the LTTE..
It makes me puke when the UNP MPS who boast as the as the Bastions of Sinhala Buddhism tell us how India is going to make our Dalits rich.
Specially that one who claims to be from the South Dr Harsh, who was carrying on about how he got the Hindians to run Ambulances.
The other one Kedelwatta Kid is a disgrace,
He is not from the South anyway, The old man who kept the UNP Elite at bay for a long time must be crying in his grave watching how pathetic the son has become.
At least the Old man knew that India has given us only two things.
First was Chola and Elara , followed by LTTE and Pirahaparan.
But You need not worry mate . Batalanada will look after you better than your Archbishop in Canterbury.