19 May, 2022


Sri Lanka Flirts With Press Regulation

In an interview with the UK’s Press Gazette this month, Lal Wickrematunge, brother of murdered Sri Lankan newspaper editor Lasantha Wickrematunge, lamented the self-censorship of his country’s press, and warned that UK hacks should fight for their own freedom of speech as an example to others, saying “Those who are in safer climates must keep the drum beating because these are the standards that other journalists in troubled areas look to.” Padraig Reidy writes

Lal Wickrematunge

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Sri Lankan journalists are looking ahead to the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Colombo in November. While British Channel 4 News and Australian ABC journalists will be wondering if they will even allowed into the country, after the president took umbrage at their coverage of his brutal final push in the civil war with the Tamil Tigers, Sri Lankans will be wondering if, post-Leveson, David Cameron will be able to look the likes of Rajapakse in the eye and talk about press freedom.

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Latest comments

  • 0

    He lost a brother for his reckless journalism.
    Now he laments that Sri Lankan journalists
    are resorting to self-censorship. Does he expect
    them to follow in his later brother’s footsteps
    or recklessly get murdered. On who lives fights
    another day Lal. The media is not the CWE. First
    pay the EPF, ETF and gratuity to your staff before
    pontificating on Lankan and British journalism.
    It is better if you limit your comments to a junior
    police officer (SI level) or a printing hand. You
    used the brush of Haris H to paint others black. Now
    you pontificate.

    • 0

      Journalism does not kill journalists. Gunmen, operating under orders from political elites, do.

    • 0

      That is the most absurd thing iv ever heard even more funnier than when Gota or Gadaffi Rajapaksa said people think of him as a hero!
      How can journalism kill you its those that carry out the orders or do the killing themselves that kills
      & i also like to add that im singhelese and even the LTTE are more respected in sri lanka than mr white van

  • 0

    Brilliant Piece by Lal W

  • 0

    Lalaji Wickremetunga has now trying to become
    Sri Lank’s Rupert Murdoch. Gratuitous advice
    on what the journos should do, do not do and
    how they should behave is all coming from this
    self acclaimed grand daddy of media entrepreneurship
    in Sri Lanka.

    Before you preach, you should explain why you
    received a monthly fee from the UNP to run your
    newspaper. You should also explain [Edited out]

    Rupert’s men resorted to other vile things. Scotland Yard
    has launched operation elvenden and the details are now
    coming out. Alas, in Sri Lanka there has so far been NO
    such investigation. If there is one, Lalaji, like his dearest
    friend and colleague, would also have to seek asylum.

  • 0

    Lal is a brave individual who has more balls than all the current unp members combined
    he has lasanthas bravery

  • 0

    The wickrematunges are still shareholders in the sunday leader
    Lal Wickrematungs still owns 30% and I hope they will regain the newspaper someday back into their family.
    I dont care for Asangas ownership and hope Lasantha’s legacy can be revived

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