Agriculture Minister at Ran Aswanu launch :
Highlighting only negatives in media can retard country's progress
" The media play a very important role in a country like Sri Lanka to
bring important messages to the public," said Agriculture Minister
Mahinda Yapa Abeywardane.
He was speaking at a ceremony to launch 'Ran Aswanu' published by the
Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (ANCL), yesterday.
Private Secretary Wasantha Yapa
Abeywardane, Additional Secretary D.B.T. Wijayaratne, ANCL
Administration and Legal Director Rasanga Harischandra,
Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardane, Editorial Director ANCL
Seelarathna Senerath, Ministry Secretary W.Sakalasooriya at
the journal launch. Picture by Nissanka Wijerathna
"Sri Lanka is a democratic country. So media publicity is very
essential to bring important messages to the public. The country is
owned by the general public. Therefore, they have a right to know what
is happening in the country and what the government is doing.
Unfortunately, a majority of media organizations always try to highlight
negative things such as crimes, abuses as they only seek commercial
benefits," the minister said.
"The minister said the relevant authorities must take action against
criminals. The media has the freedom to point out errors or mistakes.
But, if the media always highlights only the negative things, it will
retard the country's progress. ANCL is an institution which renders a
great service for the betterment of the country. There was an era when
the ANCL acted as the only media force to convey the conflict situation
in the country." said the minister.
Minister Secretary W. Sakalasooriya said under the guidance of the
President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Agriculture Ministry has a big
responsibility to enhance the nutrition level of over 21 million people
in the country. So it is necessary to bring the mssages about the
agricultural sector to the general public specially the farmers. "The
World Food Organization has recommended that the people eat 400 grams of
fruits and vegetables per day, but, Sri Lankans only get about 75 grams
per day. It is necessary to forward these messages to the public to
produce a healthy nation. We have scientists, technical officers. But we
didn't have a proper way to disseminate their knowledge among farmers
and the people. Ran Aswanu will be a great opportunity for us to make
this effort successful." said the Secretary.
ANCL Editorial Director Seelarathna Senarath said ANCL has already
started about 15 publications apart from the main
newspapers under the guidance of ANCL Chairman Bandula Padmakumara
with the objective of keeping the readers with us. 'These papers have a
huge demand among the readers. ANCL has been labled as the mouthpiece of
the government as we work for the government. But other media too are
mouthpieces of someone else. They too have their own agendas," said the
ANCL Administration and Legal Director Rasanga Harischandra, Dinamina
Editor Gamini Jayalath, ANCL Layout and Graphic Designing Managing
Director Samantha Karunasekara, department Heads and ministry officials
participated in the occasion.