Archaic media laws to be amended

BY Pamodi Waravita

Mass Media Minister and Cabinet Spokesman Dullas Alahapperuma said yesterday (24) that a number of laws relating to the main institutions attached to the Mass Media Ministry will be updated to prepare them for the dynamic global changes in the media industry.

“Most of the laws mandating the institutions attached to the Mass Media Ministry are outdated and there is a need to update them, so that the institutions are able to meet the demands of the future and to strengthen the profession. This is especially vital in our plans to digitalise the Sri Lankan media,” added Alahapperuma.

He pointed out a number of legal provisions that were formulated and enacted decades ago, including the Post Office Ordinance No. 11 of 1908, the Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation Act No. 37 of 1966, and the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation Act No. 6 of 1982. “The Post Office Ordinance was first created in 1908 and it was last amended in 1957. This serves as a huge barrier when the postal service attempts to provide services through new pathways. The postal service especially provided a tireless, committed service during the Covid-19 pandemic and amending these laws would therefore benefit both the public and the officers working in these institutions,” he noted. Alahapperuma also noted that the use of the radio has undergone many changes since the Act was first established in 1966, from being the main equipment in a household to now only being one among many different types of equipment.

“We need to strengthen both the institutions and the prosperity of the workers in them,” he explained.

Thus, cabinet approval was granted on Tuesday (23) to appoint a committee, with representatives from the media, law, administration, economy, marketing, and education sectors, to formulate recommendations for the amendment of the aforementioned laws.