Bopage, Kalansooriya cross swords on RTI | Daily News


Bopage, Kalansooriya cross swords on RTI

Challenging the Secretary to the Ministry of Mass Media and Parliamentary Reforms, Nimal Bopage’s comment that he was not aware of the setting up of an Independent Media Regulatory Commission, subject Minister, Gayantha Karunathilake yesterday said it was his secretary who helped formulate the Cabinet Paper on the subject and they together submitted it to Cabinet for approval on 22 November 2016.

Bopage addressing a media conference on Tuesday had stated that he was unaware of the notice issued by Director General of Government Information, Ranga Kalansooriya asking for public opinion on the Independent Media Regulatory Commission.

“The Cabinet Paper was unanimously approved by Cabinet and they asked that public opinion be taken to establish it. We made it public thereafter and also extended the time given for the public to send in their opinions and many did so. Thereafter, Nimal Bopage, Ranga Kalansooriya and I met the Chief Incumbent of the Malwatte Chapter last week and explained to him what we were going to do,” Karunathilake said addressing the weekly Cabinet media briefing. “All Cabinet Papers are signed after it has been signed by the Ministry Secretary. I am not sure why he made such a comment. I submitted the Cabinet Paper after he made an amendment to it too,”he added. The Ministry Secretary had also pointed out that certain parties were overstepping the mandate of the ministry and running ahead with the RTI but the minister in reply said, “If someone is moving ahead, it is good. The DG is working very hard on this and we appreciated his enthusiasm”. Kalansooriya in the meantime pointed out that the problem may lie in the fact that the Cabinet Paper also said that all public opinion should be directed to the Director General and not Secretary. The minister who also commented on the remarks made by Bopage that they would bring in laws to regulate social media, said he was not aware of such a move and said the government was not looking into taking any action against social media.

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