Cabinet Moves to Regulate Electronic Media Amid Controversy
In response to mounting concerns and recent backlash surrounding the proposed Broadcasting Regulatory Commission bill, Sri Lanka’s Cabinet of Ministers has taken decisive steps to introduce new legislation aimed at regulating electronic media.
Cabinet Spokesperson and Minister Bandula Gunawardena addressed the media, revealing that following extensive discussions, the Cabinet approved a resolution directing the Legal Draftsman to craft a new bill based on the foundational draft for the establishment of the Broadcasting Regulatory Commission.
The Government Information Department highlighted that the primary objective behind this resolution is to ensure precise media practices within the electronic media landscape while safeguarding the fundamental rights of freedom of speech and expression.
During the Cabinet meeting held on 22nd September 2022, a Cabinet Sub-Committee, chaired by the Minister of Justice, Prison Affairs, and Constitutional Reforms, was appointed. This committee’s mandate was to provide recommendations on crucial policy matters for consideration in drafting the proposed bill. Subsequently, the committee formulated a foundational draft incorporating appropriate provisions for the envisaged broadcasting regulatory commission.
The Cabinet of Ministers, therefore, granted its approval for the resolution presented by the Minister of Mass Media, directing the Legal Draftsman to create a comprehensive draft bill based on the outlined foundational principles.