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By Jatila Karawita

UPFA MP Prof Rajiva Wijesinha in an interview with LAKBIMA NEWS says that attacks on media should be investigated, and adds that if the police continue to draw blanks in all instances, ‘then we need to have better police training.’

Excerpts

Currently there are criticisms directed at the government for lack of accountability on various fronts and concerning major issues of the day. Some of the topics are the soaring COL, lack of coordination when providing relief to flood victims, failure to prevent attacks on media institutions and disappearances of media personnel etc. What are your comments?

Obviously any government will have to face criticisms. Your questions relate to two separate areas. One is happenings over which government has no control, such as the floods, and also the Cost of Living, which relates to problems all over the world. I don’t think the public at large criticize the government for these matters, though obviously political opponents will try to make political capital. However, it is important for government to respond actively and swiftly to alleviate problems, and I think this the government has done with comparative efficiency. Certainly, when I was Secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights, I found that our Disaster Management Centre was most efficient in a crisis, and I believe this has been exemplified recently too.

With regard to attacks on the media, as I have said before, it is vital that these be investigated, and if the police continue to draw blanks in all particulars, then we need to have better police training. However, one problem with the continuing assertion of opposition politicians and their related NGOs, that government is responsible for the attacks, is that police are less likely to investigate thoroughly. That is no excuse however, and investigations, and indeed criminal proceedings if appropriate, should be more efficient

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Rajiva Wijesinha

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