The Sri Lankan executive has advised all web pages to sign in with the Ministry of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media ahead of March 31, 2016.

“The statement is a vital one,” says Sanjana Hattotuwa, a senior researcher on the Centre for Coverage Possible choices, a Colombo-primarily based assume tank. Hattotuwa says the edict is against the law, simply because it used to be while Mahinda Rajapaksa, the rustic’s earlier president, took equivalent motion.

What are the wider implications of all of this? What is going to the federal government’s transfer imply in apply? Hattotuwa explains the location succinctly:

What it’s going to imply in follow is most likely self-censorship to a brand new nervousness round executive pushback or different measures. It’s going to imply that from mainstream media to citizen journalism, there might be new confusion round what precisely constitutes a information web site – a unfastened time period that may be technically and legally with none foundation, and worse, will lead to a regulatory mechanism that may be anachronistic and in poor health-outlined, proving to be in the end a degree of censorship and keep an eye on than a degree aimed toward, ostensibly, strengthening and safeguarding media ethics.

Whilst Sri Lanka’s new executive has dominated in a much less authoritarian style that the former management, there is nonetheless quite a few room for development, together with with regards to media freedom. “Systemically, across the possession of mainstream media and particularly the independence of state media, not anything has modified shop for people now on the helm of establishments, a fan of the problems and democratic spirit that propelled the president to energy,” says Hattotuwa. “In concept despite the fact that, the regulate of state media through executive, the threats towards the media via the PM [prime minister] and the behaviour of MPs [members of parliament] against the media, together with expletive riddled tirades, recommend the federal government’s method to crucial media is in essence, if now not in motion, now not considerably other to the Rajapaksa regime.”

Colombo’s up to date determination is a setback for democracy in Sri Lanka. It is going to be fascinating to peer how newshounds, participants of civil society and others react.

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