Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Tuesday 03 August |
Saint of the Day: St. Martin
home iconNews
line break icon

Outcry Over Sri Lanka’s Planned Media Bill

© DR

UCAnews - published on 06/21/13 - updated on 06/07/17

New code of ethics will criminalize free speech, say activists

The Sri Lankan government has come under heavy criticism after it proposed a media code of ethics on Monday. Journalists and rights groups say could severely curtail freedom of expression in the country.
Included in the bill is a clause banning content that “contains material against the integrity of the Executive, Judiciary, and Legislative”, and which opponents say could effectively block criticism of the state.
“The bill seriously limits media freedom in the country. Its contents have not been made clear and if there is to be a code it should be drafted by journalists,” said Sunil Jayasekara, convener of the Free Media Movement, today.
The ambiguity of the bill gives the government too much "wiggle room" in its application of laws regarding free speech, he added.
Keheliya Rambukwella, Minister for Mass Media and Information, said however that the move was intended to create a “salutary media culture in the country” because the actions of unnamed media houses had “led to many problems.”
According to US-based Human Rights Watch, the code goes so far as to restrict publication of material that “contains criticism affecting foreign relations,” and which “could lead to sanctions for reporting on international criticism of Sri Lankan government actions.”
Its Asia director, Brad Adams, said the recent proposal was “part of a sustained campaign to control the media and curtail dissent.”
The media watchdog group Freedom House last year gave Sri Lanka a press freedom ranking of 161 out of 197 nations. The Committee to Protect Journalists has ranked the country the fourth most dangerous for journalists.

Originally published at UCAnews on 21 June 2013.  Used by permission, all other rights reserved.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Saint Mary of the Angels
Bret Thoman, OFS
All your sins will be forgiven if you go to a Franciscan church o...
Ignacio María Doñoro
Francisco Veneto
The military chaplain who pretended to be a criminal to rescue a ...
Theresa Civantos Barber
The one thing we all should do before this summer ends
Violeta Tejera
Carlo Acutis’ first stained glass window in jeans and sneak...
Cerith Gardiner
Gold-winning Filipina Olympian shares her Miraculous Medal for th...
Ary Waldir Ramos Diaz
1st Feast of Our Lady of Silence is August 1
Cerith Gardiner
Simone Biles leaves the Olympics with an important lesson for her...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.