‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ sold by Sri Lanka media

THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES: Is famous tale about an emperor who hires two tailors who promise to make him a set of remarkable new clothes that will be invisible to anyone who is either incompetent or stupid. When the emperor goes to see his new clothes, he sees nothing at all — for the tailors are swindlers and there aren't any clothes. Afraid of being judged incompetent or stupid, the emperor pretends to be delighted with the new clothes and “wears” them in a grand parade through the town. Everyone else also pretends to see them, until a child yells out, “He hasn't got any clothes on!” The tale is has been translated in over 100 languages worldwide.

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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.

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

(M.A.)