Press Council re-established on COPE directive
The Press Council was re-established by the Government on the
directive of Committee on Public Enterprise (COPE) appointed by
Parliament, said Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena.
Addressing the weekly press briefing at the Information Ministry the
Minister said the COPE comprising Government and Opposition legislators
focused on huge amounts of money being spent by the Ministry for the
buildings and the officials of the Press Council which is defunct. He
said the COPE was of the view that there is no legal body to investigate
into the public complaints against the press and directed the Government
to re-establish the Press Council. “This COPE decision was conveyed to
the President through Speaker and the Council is entirely appointed by
the President, the Minister said.
“The Council members consist of Prof Samaratne Balasuriya, Prof.
Sunanda Mahendra, Attorney at Law Chandana Prasad Sooriyaarachchi and
Lankadeepa Editor Ariyananda Dombagahawatta.
The representatives of Journalists Associations, Publishers have also
been appointed to this Council.
The UNP Parliamentarian who participated in the COPE discussion never
said that this Council should not be reestablished.
The Minister scoffed at the UNP allegation that the government is
trying to impose censorship on newspapers through the Press Council.
The Press Council was set up under the Press Council Act in 1973.