When the Government ensures the freedom of the press the duty of a journalist is to write the truth without giving any space to achieve narrow objectives of some extremist elements, the President further said. The President also thanked the journalists and media institutions for acting prudently when some extremist elements trying to diminish the victory of the government at the UNHRC. President Sirisena recalled that as a Minister he also faced unpleasant , unethical experiences where he worked with political leaders who gave telephone calls to editors asking them to write against their own Ministers in the Cabinet.The President said that he noted last week one English newspapers had published an article which contained fabricated facts on his recent visit to New York to attend the UN General Assembly. He further said that even though criticism and dialogue is important for good governance, it is necessary to ensure professional standards of the media and its ethics is maintained. President Maithripala Sirisena says when the new Government is working with the media ending the era of disappearances, white vans abductions and interference of any kind, the responsibility of the media is not to isolate the Government politically .He made these observations participating at the 60th Anniversary of the Sri Lanka Press Association held at the BMICH today. The President emphasized that the new Government is fully committed to ensure media freedom and freedom of this country. He further said that the new Government had ended the era of telephoning editors to put headlines in some newspapers.
Visiting northwestern Liberia, the senior United Nations envoy to the country has assured residents that the international community will continue to support and protect them, the UN peacekeeping mission there (UNMIL) reported this weekend.Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative, Alan Doss, travelled to Bopolu, in Gbarpolu County, on Friday to meet with the local authorities and to assess the general conditions on the ground one year after UNMIL deployed in the area. Gbarpolu County, in the northwestern part of the country, is one of Liberia’s newest and least developed counties. The envoy encouraged community members to inform UNMIL of any weapons still remaining in their community and urged them to stop and report rape as “there is no place for violence in the new Liberia – against anyone.” The Gbarpolu County Superintendent, William Seh, praised UNMIL and the international community for restoring peace and stability to Liberia. He highlighted a number of challenges faced by the residents, including poor road conditions, the absence of medical facilities and the lack of schools. Special Representative Doss reassured them that “UNMIL will not only continue to provide security to the country, but we are working with the government of Liberia and other UN and international partners to help meet the basic needs of the people.” Addressing the Pakistani UN contingent deployed in the county, Mr. Doss expressed his condolences to the peacekeepers for the recent death of two soldiers who had contracted Lassa Fever. “We will remember their sacrifice, and I salute your determination to continue the work you started in Gbarpolu,” he said, adding that efforts were underway to stop the spread of disease in the area.