(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The New Democratic Front (NDF) presidential candidate minister Sajith Premadasa yesterday vowed to protect the freedom of the press and if elected to take several measures including the establishment of a world class media development centre to facilitate capacity building for institutions and individuals.
Minister Premadasa made these remarks during a meeting with media personnel at the Water’s Edge in Battaramulla yesterday. The Presidential candidate and UNP Deputy Leader took time off from his hectic campaigning schedule to have a lively interaction with the always questioning news hounds, not dodging questions and joining in the banter.
Known as a shutterbug himself, Premadasa checked out lenses with his fellow shutterbugs in the media giving an assurance of empathy with their profession.
Stressing the importance of the role of the media in furthering economic development, democracy, peace and harmony Premadasa noted that a government under him will always stay committed to ensuring the freedom and progress of the industry. Recalling the killings of media workers and attacks on journalists and media institutions during the time of the Rajapaksa regime, Premadasa said there should be no room for the repeat of such acts in the future.
“Journalists have a big role to play in ensuring that the freedom won through many sacrifices is not lost,” he added.
Premadasa promised that, as a leader, he will always look into the issues highlighted by the media and will seek its guidance in ensuring the people and the country’s well-being. A large gathering of media personnel from the news industry were present.