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Free press campaigners condemn Sri Lanka's proposed media regulation

The Committee to Protect Journalists has criticised the Sri Lankan government's announcement to enforce regulation of the media, in a statement released on Thursday.

CPJ said,

"The CPJ is concerned by the Sri Lankan government's announcement of an upcoming set of guidelines and code of conduct for journalists and media organizations, and believes these regulations will only increase the government's control of the media."

Bob Dietz, CPJ's Asia program coordinator, said,

"Website registration rules, the blocking of websites, and now talk of media guidelines are indicators that the pressure on voices critical of President Mahinda Rajapaksa's government is only going to increase."

"Calls for reform have fallen on deaf ears inside the government in the past.

"Colombo's diplomatic community must work to engage with the president to reverse these policies."

Sri Lanka's media ministry announced the planned regulations on Saturday,

"[The government will] soon introduce a set of guidelines and a code of conduct for media to be adhered to by all media institutions and media persons in the country."

The ministry statement, requested that "the relevant websites to communicate with the Ministry and register their accreditation."