State Media Conduct Still "Despicable" Under Maithri Rule

Despite President Maithripala Sirisena’s assurance on media freedom and professional integrity of journalists, the state run Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation and the Independent Television Network (ITN) are still travelling down the same old with one-sided news coverage and highly biased reportage.

In their main new bulletins yesterday, most of the airtime was allocated to President Maithripala Sirisena’s visit to Kandy. In addition to his address to the nation, separate new items were carried on the vehicle parade, the new President’s meeting with chief prelates, world leaders congratulating the President and the SLFP defectors’ meeting at the President’s residence.

Nearly 80 percent of air-time for news was consumed by stories supporting President Maithripala Sirisena and his government. They hardly had time to report on anything, except news items related to President Maithripala Sirisena.

However, the SLFP press conference, which was also attended by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was not reported in the state media.

During the recent election campaign, leaders of the Common Opposition who supported Maithripala Sirisena strongly condemned the conduct of the state media, saying they would allow state media institutions to operate in a fair and unbiased manner under Maithripala Sirsena's rule.

On Saturday, a group of artistes who openly supported Maithripala Sirisena appearing on a state TV channel claimed that they’re yet to see the ‘change’ where state media is concerned. They asserted that the state-owned media is still travelling down the wrong path, with President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s name being replaced as “President Maithripala Sirisena”.

© 2017 Asian Mirror (pvt) Ltd