Abduction of journalists :
No need for PSC - Media Minister
Media and Information and Enterprise Development and Investment
Promotion Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa told Parliament yesterday
there is no need to appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee on the
incidents of abductions and killings of journalists as the Government
has given all required facilities and assistance to the police to
conduct investigations on these incidents.
The Minister was responding to the special statement made by the
Chief Opposition Whip Joseph Michael Perera requesting the appointment
of a Parliamentary Select Committee to look into the incidents of
abductions and killings of journalists.
The Minister said the Government vehemently condemns the recent
incident of assaulting journalist and media unionist Poddala Jayantha.
The Opposition has made a mistake of taking isolated incidents out of
their context to say that so many abductions and killings of journalists
have been taken place since 2005, he said.
Certain incidents have taken place in such a socio-political context.
Therefore, it is not fair to select a number of incidents and generalise
them to say that journalists are harassed. As a responsible Government,
we have a responsibility to look into these incidents relating to
The Minister said the Government has no intention whatsoever to bring
laws to curb media freedom. Media freedom should be ensured for the
development of a society. Journalists should have the freedom to
criticise the Government or speak in favour of the Government.
"We are sad to hear that Journalist Poddala Jayantha was attacked. He
works in the Government managed Lake House. He did not have any problem
with the Government. He had not written any article criticising the
Government. Therefore, it is wrong to point fingers at the Government
regarding this incident. The Government will commence a full scale
investigation into this attack".
The Minister said "when you say that 11 journalists were killed, we
have doubts about this figure. In this list of journalists, there are
names, those who worked for the LTTE's Voice of Tigers. I don't know
whether we can identify them as journalists".