Pakistan Press Foundation concerned over seizure of Sri Lankan channel’s camera
Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF), in a letter to Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, expressed concern over the confiscation of the drone camera of Hiru TV in Mirijjawila, Hambantota, on January 7.
PPF Secretary General Owais Aslam Ali in his letter urged the government of Sri Lanka to properly investigate the case and bring those responsible to justice to ensure that media can operate in a free and independent manner.
According to the Free Media Movement (FMM), the drone camera was being used to cover the protest at the inauguration ceremony of the Sri Lanka-China joint venture at Mirijjawali that Your Excellency attended along with the Chinese ambassador. The report added that there was a clash between those attending the ceremony and those protesting it, which the drone camera was covering.
FMM added that the Prime Minister’s Security Division confiscated the camera, which was later returned but without the memory card.
Seetha Ranjanee, FMM convener, and C Dodawatte, FMM Secretary in a statement, said: “The incident shows the obstacles in the way of professional rights of the media who work for the realization of people’s right to information. In particular, the act of seizing the memory chip of the camera demonstrates that journalists are unable to provide free information to the people, even though one of the world’s best Right to Information acts has been passed.”
PPF urged Prime Minister Wickramasinghe to review the matter at the earliest and reiterate Sri Lank’s commitment to press freedom.