The journalists in Sri Lanka are eagerly looking forward for another milestone in the history of the Island nation with the draft of Right to Information Act (RTI) set to be tabled in their parliament on March 9.
Addressing mediapersons here on Saturday, Kurulu Kariyakarawana, a journalist with Daily Mirror in Lanka, said, “The Act is modelled on the one already in force in India”. Reacting to media queries, Kurulu was happy to note that the situation in the war-torn country has eased for now. “Five years ago, when the civil war between the government and Liberation of Tamil Tigers Elam (LTTE) was on, journalists were working under tremendous pressure from the government. There are instances of journalists being victims of suppression, threat, intimidation, abduction, assault and some even lost their lives,” he said. However, he regretted that unlike India, journalism in Sri Lanka is not considered as a profession.
Narrating the history of Sri Lanka Press Association (SLPA), Kurulu said the association with over 5,000 members celebrated its diamond jubilee year in 2015. He said, “The association was founded on October 9, 1955, with a few publications. In 1975, Sri Lanka Working Journalists’ Association, a sister organisation of SLPA, was founded with the intention of working for the cause of the fraternity. To provide an opportunity to international journalists, SLPA is a part of journalists exchange programme with Indian Federation of Working Journalists (IFWJ). Presently, Sri Lanka has 50 newspapers and 14 news channels, including Lake House, a government-owned newspaper.”
Kurulu was among the 25-member delegation of SLPA, led by Muditha Kariya- karawana, a senior advisor and deputy chief sub-editor, Rivira Media Corporation, Colombo to Mysore District Journalists Association (MDJA).
The delegation also included Upul Janaka Jayasinghe, secretary general and journalist with Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC), Pushpa Illanganatilake, editor of Sinhala, features editor, Rivira Media Corporation, Y H S Sisira Yapa, media secretary to the State Minister of Highways, Sri Lanka, Thushara Upul Weerasiri, executive committee member and freelancer, Thushara Sampath Silva, member, journalist, Film Asia Digital Management, Indika Liyandeniya, executive committee member and news editor, Sri Lanka News, Subhashini De Silva, sub-editor, librarian and announcer (Hindi), SLBC, Nissanka Hewapanna, member, sub-editor, Rivira Media Corporation, and S Thiyagu, media secretary to the State Minister of Education. (Deccan Herald)