An Echelon Media Company
Friday June 14th, 2024

Sri Lanka’s broadcast authority bill to be presented to parliament soon

ECONOMYNEXT — Sri Lanka’s controversial Electronic Media Broadcasting Authority bill is expected to be presented to parliament soon, according to State Minister for Mass Media Shantha Bandara.

A national media policy has also been drafted and is currently under consideration by the cabinet of ministers for approval, Bandara told reporters on Tuesday February 13.

The state minister insisted that there would be “no hindrance to the media in this regard”.

A statement from the president’s office said significant amendments have been made to the Electronic Media Broadcasting Authority bill following majority agreement.

“The finalised bill has been submitted to the Attorney General’s Department and is anticipated to be presented to parliament for adoption in the near future,” the state minister was quoted as saying.

The bill has proved controversial, with media rights activists and opposition groups claiming it would pose a threat to media freedom in the island nation.

Critics have found issue with aspects of the bill such as an annual license renewal requirement that they claim will result in Sri Lanka’s privately owned broadcast media being subservient to the government the way state-run media has been for years.

Commenting on the financial management of state-run media, State Minister Bandara said the the ministry has held discussions with the management of both the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) and the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC).

“In tackling today’s prominent challenge of financial management, we directed our attention towards addressing revenue and expenditure issues. Specifically, we concentrated on the 16 institutions falling under the Ministry, a significant portion of which relied on Treasury allocations. As a result, initiatives were undertaken to enhance the self-sufficiency of these entities, enabling them to operate independently.

“Particularly, in our efforts to enhance Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation and the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, we engaged in discussions with their management, leading to crucial decisions that have garnered positive responses,” he said.

The state-run Independent Television Network (ITN) and the Associated Newspapers Ceylon Limited (Lakehouse) have undergone significant transformations, Bandara said.

“We anticipate turning these institutions into profitable entities by next year,” he added.

A Chartered Institute of Journalists is also in the pipeline, according to Bandara, with initial work forwarded to the Attorney General’s Department. This institute aims to offer internationally recognised certification to journalists who undergo proper training, he said. (Colombo/Feb14/2024)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sri Lanka opposition leader proposes Grama Rajya system in addition to 13A

Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa (r) – File photo

ECONOMYNEXT — Sri Lanka opposition leader Sajith Premadasa has proposed devolving power to the village level through a Grama Rajya system in addition to implementing the 13th amendment to the constitution.

Speaking at an event in Jaffna on on Wednesday June 12, Premadasa said all provinces will benefit from the 13th amendment.

“Whatever one’s ethnicity, religion, status or region, this country has citizens of equal level. They’re all Sri Lankan citizens.

“There is no division or grouping.  As we give you and every other province what you should be given through the 13th amendment, we must implement a Grama Rajya system,” Premadasa said, addressing a crowd of school children and other attendees.

Premadasa’s assurance of implementing the 13th amendment has already drawn some protest in the south.

A collective of civil society organisations held a protest outside the office of the leader of the opposition in Colombo on Thursday June 12.

Calling itself the ‘Coalition Against Partition of Sri Lanka’, the group carrying national flags marched up to the opposition leader’s office Thursday June 13 morning and demonstrated against the full implementation of the 13th amendment.

“We arrived here today to hand over a missive against devolving police powers, land powers and judicial powers. If Mr Premadasa is inside, come outside,” Jamuni Kamantha Thushara, Chairman of the Citizen’s Movement Against Fraud, Corruption, and Waste, was seen declaring at the site.

“First of all, tell us what we stand to achieve by dividing and giving away the north and east,” said another protestor, warning against bringing the 13th amendment “anywhere here (paththa palaathe)”.

A police officer at the scene the protestors that a secretary to the opposition leader was ready to accept their letter.

“In Kilonochchi, he says the 13th amendment will be implemented. The votes in the north are going to be decisive this election. To win those votes, President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sajith and Anura Kumara Dissanayake all say they will implement the 13th. We will not allow this country to be divided into nine pieces,” said Thushara.

Ven Balangoda Kassapa Thero, who was arrested on June 06 during a protest against the new Electricity Act, was also seen at Thursday’s protest. The Buddhist monk requested for a debate with Premadasa on the matter of the 13th amendment. (Colombo/Jun12/2024)

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka rupee closes flat at 303.85/95 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed broadly flat at 303.85/95 to the US dollar on Thursday, from 303.80/304.00 to the dollar the previous day, dealers said. Bond yields were down.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed at 10.00/30 percent, down from 10.20/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.10.2027 closed at 10.60/75 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 11.00/15 percent, down from 11.15/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed at 11.80/85 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2030 closed at 11.85/12.05 percent, down from 11.90/12.05 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.10.2032 closed stable at 11.95/12.15 percent. (Colombo/Jun13/2024)

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka sells Rs295bn in 2027 to 2031 bonds

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has sold 295 billion rupees in 2027, 2029 and 2031 bonds, data from the state debt office showed.

The debt office sold an offered 60 billion rupees of 15 October 2027 at an average yield of 10.30 percent.

All offered 125 billion rupees of 15 September 2029 bonds were sold at 11.00 percent.

All 110 billion rupees offered of 01 December 2031 bonds were sold at 12.00 percent. (Colombo/May13/2024)

Continue Reading