One-sided pic­ture in Par­lia­ment

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - NEWS -

It was cen­sor­ship of a dif­fer­ent sort. Though it is not clear who or­dered it, it fell on the Po­lice to en­force it when Fi­nance Min­is­ter Man­gala Sa­ma­raweera was pre­sent­ing his first bud­get.

Pho­tog­ra­phers who were as­signed for cov­er­age in­side the Par­lia­ment gallery dur­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion on Thurs­day were in for a rude shock.

Once in­side, they were told they could be re­stricted to a van­tage point from where they could only get a frontal view of Gov­ern­ment MPs. De­spite ef­forts by them to get to the op­po­site side so that they could cap­ture some on the op­po­si­tion benches, they were pre­vented by the Po­lice personnel on duty say­ing they had been in­structed not to al­low them to move to the other side.

It seems a new rule be­cause just last month, when Par­lia­ment marked its 70th an­niver­sary, pho­tog­ra­phers were al­lowed free move­ment in­side the up­per floor of the gallery so they could cap­ture MPs on all sides. So much for par­lia­men­tary democ­racy.

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