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Monday, 04 December 2017 - 16:31
Minister Mangala says Sri Lanka committed to ending impunity
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Minister of Finance and Mass Media, Mangala Samaraweera says Sri Lanka remains firm in its commitment to work with the international community to work towards ending impunity for crimes against journalists.
 
The Minister said that at the launch of the UNESCO Regional Conference on Reinforcing Regional Cooperation to Promote Freedom of Expression and the Rule of Law in Asia through Ending Impunity for Crimes against Journalists in Colombo today (04).
 
The Minister added that the new technology is an enabler of democratic development.
 
“However, this also means that we have to find effective ways to deal with negative aspects such as disinformation, propaganda, and hate speech. These are real challenges that we must find ways to deal with, including through legal means, without suppressing peoples’ right to freedom of expression, dialogue, debate and access to information”, Minister Samaraweera said.
 
He said that the role of the state is to guarantee and further these rights.

Meanwhile, the Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayaka said that he had instructed the Police to give priority to investigate attacks against media.

The Minister made this revelation while in a panel discussion. 

"We have come a long way," the Minister said, adding that some investigations into attacks on media had to be commenced under the most difficult circumstances.

"There were instances where the evidence had been destroyed.  Some investigations had to be started many years after the incidents. But, the Police were able to make significant progress in some of the critical cases," the Minister explained.

"Some of these cases, for instance, the Prageeth Eknaligoda case, have underscored the need for new laws and regulations.  Measures were underway to change the legal framework allowing the law enforcement authorities to indict a criminal for murder, in the absence of the body of a victim. Such provisions will pave way for important developments as far as the investigations are concerned," he added.

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