Representatives of political parties yesterday condemned a protest campaign by a group of persons clad in black and calling themselves civil activists outside the Capital Maharaja Organization, Hiru and Derana to intimidate those organisations.
A senior spokesman for the Maharaja Organization told The Island that they couldn’t be intimidated by such protests.
A spokesperson for another station alleged that a section of the government had launched the protest campaign, claiming that the media had backed the Oct. 26 government change.
Opposition Leader and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa told the media outside Parliament that it was clear who was behind the campaign to intimidate the media.
Rajapaksa pointed out that the term “Kalu Maadya” (Black Media) had been first used by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament.
Housing, Construction and Cultural Affairs and the Deputy leader of the UNP Sajith Premadasa underscored the importance of media freedom and how such freedoms upheld the democracy and sovereignty of the country. Premadasa strongly criticised the protest that was staged outside the MTV MBC head office.
Addressing Parliament, yesterday, UPFA MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage said that strict action should be taken to prevent protesters from forcibly entering media institutions.
Non-Cabinet Minister of Digital Infrastructure and Information Technology Ajith Perera said that any form of threats against the media weren’t acceptable.
Azath Salley, the Governor of the Western Province said that the current government was keen to safeguard the freedom of the press. Salley, who is also the Leader of the National Unity Alliance, said that the protest directed at the media organization was meant to obstruct free media.
JVP MP Vijitha Herath told News1st that his party was not involved in the protest.