FMM Condemns Rupavahini Corporation’s Unethical Violation | Print edition

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The Free Media Movement (FMM) recently issued a press release and condemned the recent incident involving a group of protesters who broke into the building of the state-owned Rupavahini Corporation and suspended its broadcast.

The demonstrators had demanded that the television channel broadcast only information related to anti-government protests and entertainment programs.

Troops guard the Rupavahini public television station which has been temporarily besieged by sections of protesters. Photo by MA Pushpa Kumara

The media content broadcast was decided by the editorial staff of the respective media institutions and threatening them was a blatant act, contrary to the principles of media freedom.

“The state media community should be transformed into public service media instead of acting as propaganda tools for existing governments. The idea of ​​combining media regulation with an independent media commission is being promoted to regulate all media, including state media and those using frequencies,” the press release reads.

“Freedom of expression is a crucial thing in the media when we should recognize that ‘freedom must come with responsibility’ from all parties,” he added.

The FMM said it completely disapproved of the behavior of state media, including the state-owned Rupavahini, for its pro-government bias that ultimately pushed the country into a floundering economic crisis, especially at a time when people opposed the government.

“We are also deeply disappointed with some private media outlets that are aligned with the current government and are not impartial.”

However, the FMM firmly believed that media reforms should be introduced after a critical analysis of the current situation between the media community, the people and the government.

However, this would not be achieved by forcibly breaking into a media institution and issuing orders. Such actions were strongly condemned and seen as a threat and a violation of media ethics, the movement said.

After months of escalating protests and the resignation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the free media movement and the media community in general supported the protest. The peaceful and non-violent aragalaya or struggle of peoples depicted was highly appreciated and was put forward as a positive symbol of the future.

However, taking into consideration the recent incidents that have taken place have been black spots for the struggle of the peoples. Breaking into Rupavahini was one of them, the movement said.

The FMM condemned the manner in which two protesters burst into Rupavahini, while giving orders, during the live broadcast. One of them directly stated that he does not accept “media ethics” and that he does not ask, but gives orders. The movement claimed that the ideas disseminated were harmful to the community.

“This attack highlights a dangerous threat and therefore we call for serious attention in this regard and we believe that the right to express one’s opinion is the foundation of all rights,” said FMM leader Lasantha de Silva. .

“Thus, we ask all parties who have contributed to a peaceful protest not to be spoiled by such people and to protect the positive qualities of the protests even in a difficult situation.”

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