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Media groups condemn decision on Rūpavāhinī

The Sri Lanka Working Journalists’ Association (SLWJA) and the Free Media Movement(FMM) have condemned President Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to bring the Sri Lanka Rūpavāhinī Corporation (SLRC) under the purview of the Defence Ministry.

SLWJA said the move by the President was a warning sign/threat to Media freedom.

“The President has set a bad example through his decision” SLWJA said in a statement.

“The move made in the back-ground of a forthcoming presidential election is suspicious”,  SLWJA said.

It pointed out that SLRC and Defence Ministry were two different realms and have no connection what so ever to be brought under the purview of the Defence ministry.

SLWJA said the action was aimed at stripping off the independence of journalists at SLRC, further highlighting that this may have been a move to scare media organisations and journalists in the country.

“We are disappointed that the President has used his executive powers which he vehemently promised not to misuse.” FMM said.

The FMM called for the revocation of the gazette and the assurance of a peaceful and fair election from the President and the Government.