In the wake of the attempted coup in Sri Lanka on October 26. The role of media soft-pedaling violations of the constitution and the Right to Information Act (RTI) are in the spotlight.
Following the disputed nomination of Mahinda Rajapakse as Prime Minister on Oct. 26, among the first institutions taken-over was state media.
Even yesterday, the Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya summoned Mass Media Ministry Secretary and Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) Chairman for cutting off air parliamentary speeches.
Meanwhile, Karu Paranawithana, former deputy minister of media, who played a key role in formulating Sri Lanka’s Right to Information Act (RTI), also called for action.
“Legal action will be taken against certain media heads who violated law,” said Paranawithana today.
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1. Front pages in English, Sinhala and Tamil, October 27 and 28, 2018. Many of the lead stories in mainstream media refer to Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister. . 2. Front pages in English, Sinhala and Tamil on November 3 and 4, 2018. Confusion, political fractures evident in headlines. #couplk #politicalcrisislk #snapshotlka #lka
The SLBC’s decision to cut-off air parliamentary proceedings was a blatant violation of RTI act, he added.
Earlier, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) party in statement said parliament should pass an act and appoint a commission to punish those who were involved in the coup against the state. Media institutions which supported the conspirators should also be investigated, added JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake