Sri Lanka government controlled media allegations denied

The Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) has refuted a news item published by a Sinhala daily on Thursday, June 26th that eight Tigers had been sent to Norway as journalists.

The refutation was made at a hurriedly convened press conference chaired by Mr. Kumar Nadesan, the Chairman of SLPI. Associated with him were newspaper publishers, editors and representatives of the Free Media Movement (FMM), a media rights group.

A Super lead news report on Sri Lanka Government controlled Dinamina, said on Thursday that SLPI had last year invited applications from print and electronic media journalists for training in Denmark and 500 applications had been received. Of them 100 had been interviewed and 20 selected – 10 Sinhalese and 10 Tamils, of whom eight were from Jaffna.

The report alleged that eight of the Tamil persons so selected had no connection to any media organisation and knew neither English nor Sinhalese. Several of them had not returned to Sri Lanka after the completion of the course.

[Lead news report on Dinamina of June 26th says Tigers were sent to Norway under Journalists label]

SLPI said it was committed to enhancing the professional standards of Lankan journalists and conducted training programmes both here and abroad for this purpose.
Selections for such programs had been done according to accepted standards with full transparency, it said.

The Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) is reportedly seeking legal advice as to what action could be taken if the Sri Lanka Government controlled Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (Lake House) – publishers of Dinamina, did not take immediate action to correct a news item.

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