ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, July 8, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 06

JVP, UNP dissidents group oppose defamation laws

The JVP and dissident group of the UNP which joined the Government have decided to oppose any moves to reintroduce criminal defamation laws. JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe told The Sunday Times his party would not support any move by the Government to re-introduce criminal defamation laws in the country.

“We will definitely oppose it. We are reacting to all these unacceptable steps of the Government,” he said. The JVP leader said his party did not fear what journalists wrote about but requested they be more careful about what they wrote. There are media personnel who write about everything, including personal affairs of people, he said.

“There must be ethics but when politicians do not abide by any ethics at all, you cannot expect others to do so,” Mr. Amarasinghe said. The UNP Democratic Group will oppose any move by the Government to re-establish the criminal defamation law even if such laws are brought to Parliament, Investment Promotion Minister Naveen Dissanayake said.

He said his group did not believe in restricting media freedom though there was no intention to cause any inconvenience to the President. “We have directly informed the President of our decision,” he said. Addressing the media at a conference held at the Seth Sevana mansion in Kirulapone, the minister said the group of seventeen which crossed over had become a great strength to the Government and if not for them, the Government would have collapsed and would have had to face an election as well.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.