Broadcasting Authority Bill to be given to media institutions



The Sri Lanka Broadcasting Authority Bill will be given to media institutions and the MPs to study in the next few weeks, Minister of Justice, Prison Affairs and Constitutional Reform Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said in Parliament yesterday (27).

The Minister said this in response to a question asked by Galle District SJB MP Gayantha Karunathilaka from Media Minister Bandula Gunawardana.

Minister Gunawardana who answered the question first said that there are 25 registered television channels and 51 registered radio channels in the country.

“There is a large disparity between the conditions of national television and radio channels. There is a serious disparity in the granting of licenses to individual radio and television channels. There are those that have been given licenses without any formality or regularity. We are not responsible for any of these. It has happened according to different circumstances.

“As the minister, I requested special permission from the Cabinet to issue licenses with transparency. Accordingly, a special sub-committee chaired by Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe was appointed by the Cabinet. A large amount of work on the Broadcasting Authority Bill has now been completed.

“Recently, we made an inquiry whether there is a possibility of starting an educational channel. The Minister of Education and I made efforts in this regard. When we used the given symbols for this educational channel, there were obstacles to the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation and the Independent Television Network. Therefore, we both informed the Cabinet that it is not possible to run a separate channel for education. Accordingly, it was cancelled.”

Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said the sub-committee appointed by the Cabinet currently works on the Bill.

“Studies and final discussions are almost done. In a week or two, the new Broadcasting Authority Bill will be given to the media institutions, the MPs and anyone who is interested in this matter to study it. Only after that we will bring it to Parliament,” he said.


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