By Ashwin Hemmathagama
Our Lobby Correspondent
The Parliament of Sri Lanka will be re-launching its website during the next two weeks with additional features including a live stream of the daily proceedings to bridge the gap between the public and the legislators.
Adding more with the website re-launch, journalists covering the Parliament will also have enhanced access to in-house services including the databases, internal documents and reports, as well as the ability to obtain video clips of the proceedings without hassle from now onwards.
Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa who was the Chief Guest at the workshop themed ‘Building an Effective Relationship’ held yesterday at the Parliament complex for media representatives covering Parliamentary affairs confirmed that the new facilities would “help media to be accurate and to do timely news reporting at all times,” which will be within the framework of the Standing Orders and the Parliament (Powers and Privileges) Act.
Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe who was also present at the occasion suggested the live telecast of the proceedings should be allowed as a “regular television broadcast, enabling the general public to take their political decisions wisely”.
According to the Leader of the Opposition, the high cost for such telecast could be obtained by “curtailing most of the unnecessary expenses” borne by the Government and “Committee of Public Accounts should be kept in charge of finding the necessary funding with prudent actions being taken”.
However, Speaker Rajapaksa agreed to start the live streaming with a radio channel as a pilot project but keeping room for improvement that can be developed into a television channel at a later stage.
All members of the Parliament Journalists Association were present for this full-day workshop and sessions were conducted by Secretary General Dhammika Dasanayake, Deputy Secretary General Neil Iddawala, Attorney General Palitha Fernando and heads of departments at Parliament.