No ban on websites, but must register
The Media Ministry is only acting according to judgments given by the
Supreme Court in connection with registering websites. The Media
Ministry merely requests websites to register with the ministry and has
not banned any websites so far. Over 42 websites had been registered
with the ministry, Acting Media Minister and Acting Cabinet Spokesman
Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said.
Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena
Addressing the weekly Cabinet press briefing at the Government
Information Department Auditorium yesterday, he said another 24 websites
got registration later. “The registration included a code of ethics
developed by journalists themselves. Nothing has been imposed by the
Media Ministry on journalists or websites. The Supreme Court judgment
made it clear that freedom of the wild ass cannot exist for websites.”
‘Registration is being done in order to protect the democratic rights
According to Acting Minister Yapa Abeywardena, if any website is
unable to provide its contact details, it is obvious that something
fishy is going on with that specific website and it has something to
hide from the public.
‘Right to reply’ is the democratic right of public which should be
assured by the Sri Lankan government.
‘Mass media, such as, CNN, BBC etc have contact details and any
person can contact those media institutions and present his/her version
if those radio/television channels broadcast/telecast anything in
connection with him/her.
‘Here in Sri Lanka all newspapers, magazines, television/radio
stations etc have contact details.
‘The public can make complaints to the Sri Lanka Press Council which
has not taken legal action against any institution so far.
‘Likewise websites should have contact details. It is simply the name
and address of the editor/owner/operator of the website, the Acting