insists on Criminal Defamation Law
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has come under pressure by a
section of cabinet of ministers to implement the Criminal
Defamation Law (CDL).
Last week the government announced that there was no need to
reintroduce the law in the country.
This announcement came in the wake of severe opposition mounted
by some senior cabinet ministers at last week’s cabinet meeting
who opposed the idea of reintroducing the CDL.
However, senior minister and Highways Minister Jeyaraj
Fernandopulle was of the view that the CDL must be reintroduced
in the country to minimize offences and to prevent the media
from being irresponsible.
He pointed out that a section of the media was not playing a
responsible role in disseminating facts to the masses.
He said certain electronic and print media organizations
continued to violate the accepted norms and regulations in the
society and provoked the government to take action against them.
He said media organizations must exercise self censorship so
that there would be no pressure on the government to reintroduce
“Even if this law was reintroduced, why should the media get
upset? Those who get upset are the ones who are guilty of doing
things against the rules and norms. Otherwise they don’t have to
get upset about any law,” he said.
He also said some newspapers were disrupting families and
tarnishing the image of the country. He added that therefore
such laws must be implemented.
Meanwhile The Nation learns that health minister Nimal Siripala
de Silva has also echoed similar sentiments, supporting the CDL.
When President Mahinda Rajapaksa met with Wijeya Newspapers
Chairman Ranjith Wijewardena he had told the chairman of the
publishing house that he (Rajapaksa) was under pressure to
reintroduce the CDL.