State sector officials not restricted from speaking to media: Media Minister

Monday, 26 January 2015 00:46 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Media Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka says that there will not be any restrictions on state sector officials from speaking to the media. Speaking to a group of representatives from several media organisations, Karunathilaka said the Media Ministry upholds the right to freedom of expression. When questioned about the statement made by Cabinet Spokesperson Minister Rajitha Senaratne that state sector officials would have to receive approval from the Ministry Secretary to speak to the media, the Media Minister said that the statement was made following a comment made by the Defence Secretary about a bank account allegedly maintained by the former Defence Secretary. “There are no restrictions on state officials from speaking to the media. Official news releases can only be issued by the Ministry Secretary and that is regulation. Other than that, there are no restrictions,” Karunathileka said, adding that any doubts over the matter will be overcome once the Right to Information legislation is implemented.

 Committee will draft Right to Information Act

  A committee has been appointed to draft the Right to Information (RTI) Act, Media Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka said on Saturday. The Minister said this while speaking to reporters after visiting Kandy to worship and meet the chief prelates in the sacred city. He said that once the draft document is complete it will be presented to Parliament and approved as promised in the 100-day program of President Maithripala Sirisena. Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka also reiterated a call to the many Sri Lankan journalists who fled the country to return and assured their security. He said the new Government would ensure media freedom in Sri Lanka and journalists will not face threats and harassment like they did during the previous regime. (Colombo Gazette)