October 01, 2020
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    State and private media should compete with each other - Minister

    March 25, 2019

    The Government does not interfere in the profession of journalists and likewise the journalists should not mix up their profession with politics, Defence State Minister and Mass Media Non Cabinet Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said.

    Speaking at the Committee Stage of Budget debate in Parliament yesterday when the Expenditure Heads of the Mass Media Non Cabinet Ministry were taken up, Minister Wijewardene said the Government is well aware of its limits in controlling the state media.

    “I know I am not the CEO of all state media. However, journalists in those institutions have not realised it yet. The state media must overcome the servile mentality. We want to make the state media competitors with the private media without becoming a burden on the Treasury. The necessary institutional environment to make them profitable will be made while also not forgetting the inalienable social responsibilities to cater to education, reconciliation, harmony, enriching Sri Lankan culture and public awareness of development aspects,” he said.

    While assuring a free media culture in the country, the minister pointed out that the shadows of the dark era where the media was stifled could be clearly seen during the period of the political coup in October last year. “The media behaved in a partial manner and media frequencies were abused,” he added.

    He said that his ministry would pay compensation to the families of journalists who were missing or killed in the North and elsewhere in the country, adding that a group representing those victimized journalists has sought an appointment to meet him.

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