[Full Text of Press Relase by FMM]
Free Media Movement expresses its serious concern over banning Raja FM radio based on the allegation of indecency by the Department of Information. The banning order was issued on 11th November 2006 and warns that government may ban not only the Raja FM channel but also whole radio station.
Raja FM is one of the channels of AEP radio and television network.
Two weeks ago an e mail campaign was launched by extreme nationalist forces against the Raja FM on the same grounds.
Although discussions on adult sexual issues in Q & A format is part of present media practises, FMM is on the opinion that every thing happens in private sexual life cannot be a discussed openly through media.
There is a definite public interest in programmes and features on sexuality in the nature of entertainment, education and counselling. But making this as an excuse to propagate indecent programmes for sheer commercial reasons is violation of social responsibility of media.
FMM does not condone such media behaviours and urge all FM stations to reconsider such programmes seriously.
If Raja FM broadcast any such programmes, instead of banning the channel government should have followed the due process to determine the remedial steps. Banning a channel without any consultation or warning creates a dangerous precedence for banning any radio or TV channel or station on different reasons like national security and defamation.
FMM is afraid that in a the current situation of media facing various unofficial censorships this ban could be a another signal for media to toeing the political line of government on critical issues.
Considering all sides of this issue FMM urge the government to have a proper transparent inquiry in to the allegations and to solve this issue by consultation and discussion within a democratic frame work.
Free Media Movement -For more information – Sunanda Deshapriya – (+ 94)777 312457
Spokesperson- S. Sivakumar 0777 315665
Convenor – Sunanda Deshapriya ( 0777 312457) – Secretary – Sunil Jayasekara ( 011 2851 672/3)
No. 237/22, Wijeya Kumaratunga Road , Colombo – 05., Email : firstname.lastname@example.org, Fax: 011-4714 460