Select Committee on Election Law Reforms


The electronic media has become a problem during the election campaign for not charging a fair fee – Hon. Minister Dinesh Gunawardena states during the Parliamentary Select Committee

Hon. Minister Dinesh Gunawardena stated that electronic media has become a problem during the election campaign for not charging a fair fee. The Minister stated the above at the Select Committee of Parliament to Identify Appropriate Reforms of the Election Laws and the Electoral System and to Recommend Necessary Amendments.

It has been observed that a very high fee is charged for candidate advertisements during the election period. He pointed out that it was serious injustice.

Wishlist three electronic media institutions testified at this committee yesterday (26), Director – MTV Channel (Pvt) Limited and MBC Networks (Pvt) Limited stated that there was no consensus on the election laws affecting the media in Sri Lanka.

He said that the current situation in the media industry should be taken into consideration when making such amendments.

Mr. Dias also pointed out that cable and satellite television channels were seriously violating election laws even during the 48 hours of silence period before election day. He also said that through their media network, they facilitate media reporting so that all political parties have equal opportunities.

TNL News Manager Tiran Karannagoda, who testified on behalf of the Telshan Media Network, said that there should be a similarity between the prices charged by media institutions for election advertisements. He said it was essential to hold talks to reach a consensus.

Speaking to the Committee on behalf of the Voice of Asia Media Network, Mr. Prasanna Jayanetti said that his media network provides free air time for political discussions during the election period.

Hon. Parliamentarian Rauff Hakeem said that there should be at least a code of ethics for journalists regarding election reporting.

Hon. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva as well as Hon. Members of Parliament Ranjith Madduma Bandara, Madhura Withanage and Sagara Kariyawasam were present at the committee meeting.

In addition, officials from the Attorney General’s Department, the Election Commission and the Delimitation Commission were also present at the committee meeting.

The Secretary to the Select Committee, Deputy Secretary General & Chief of Staff of Parliament Ms. Kushani Rohanadheera stated that the next meeting of the Parliamentary Select Committee will be held on the 02nd