Nov 20, 2016

Justice minister’s remark, a danger signal - PWJA Featured

The Professional Web Journalists’ Association sees a remark made by justice minister Wijedasa Rajapakse in parliament as a threat to the media.

PWJA convener Freddie Gamage refers to the strong reference by the minister to lankaenews website and its editor, in which he claimed the two were a threat to the judiciary’s independence that has been built with difficulty.

FG in UN 1024x728Rajapakse said the web editor would be brought to Sri Lanka on an international warrant and taken to court.

He said the media’s manner of reporting about judges prevented them from taking independent decisions.

A danger signal

Referring to the minister’s warning that draconian laws would be used to ensure justice, Gamage told Sri Lanka Mirror that that was a danger signal that would be harmful to the country’s free media.

The minister is describing the criticism of certain judges’ actions as an insult to them in order to deny media freedom, he said, and noted that it would be a serious matter if laws are introduced to deny the right to criticize a corrupt judiciary.

It is bad for good governance to make such remarks in retaliation to personal animosities with the lankaenews editor, Gamage went onto say.

The minister’s remark cannot be taken lightly as mere criticism, the PWJA convener said, adding that the condemnation of corrupt, fraudulent and sexual-bribe seeking judges should take place in order to make the judiciary people-friendly.

Website’s role in govt. change

The website in question played a role in toppling the Rajapaksa regime and in the formation of the present administration.

Once, its office was set on fire and one of its staffers Prageeth Ekneligoda was made to disappear.

Its editor Sandaruwan Senadhira fled the country to save his life.

SLM does not approve of certain media usages of this website, but urges the government to ensure his right to engage in his profession.