PCCSL in Jaffna to serve ag­grieved North­ern Prov­ince read­ers

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - NEWS -

JAFFNA - The Press Com­plaints Com­mis­sion of Sri Lanka (PCCSL), the self-reg­u­la­tory body of the news­pa­per in­dus­try, opened an of­fice in Jaffna on Fri­day, May 3, at 2.30 pm at 117, Sta­tion Road, Jaffna, to co­in­cide with the United Na­tion’s World Press Freedom Day.

This comes in the wake of a se­ries of phys­i­cal at­tacks on Jaffn­abased news­pa­pers, blamed on pro­gov­ern­ment ‘ele­ments’, an ac­cu­sa­tion hotly de­nied by the au­thor­i­ties.

A rep­re­sen­ta­tive gath­er­ing of the clergy, govern­ment and mil­i­tary of­fi­cials, pub­lish­ers, edi­tors, and jour­nal­ists from the Jaffn­abased me­dia were present at the open­ing, where PCCSL of­fi­cials spoke of their ef­forts to bring about am­i­ca­ble set­tle­ments be­tween ag­grieved read­ers and the me­dia over pub­lished news items, by way of con­cil­i­a­tion, me­di­a­tion and ar­bi­tra­tion to the sat­is­fac­tion of all par­ties.

The Jaffna branch of the PCCSL is aimed at serv­ing the needs of the North­ern Prov­ince news­pa­per read­ers, in­clud­ing govern­ment au­thor­i­ties who may have a com­plaint against an in­ac­cu­rate pub­li­ca­tion and fa­cil­i­tate their com- plaint reach­ing the PCCSL’s main of­fice in Colombo.

The com­plaints will be in­quired into by the PCCSL Sec­re­tariat in Colombo and the Com­mis­sion’s 11-mem­ber Dis­pute Res­o­lu­tion Coun­cil chaired by for­mer Sec­re­tary Gen­eral of Par­lia­ment and the coun­try’s first Om­buds­man, Sam Wi­jesinha.

The branch of­fice was de­clared open by the founder of the Thi­nakur­ral news­pa­per, S.P. Samy who is also Chair­man of the North­ern Cen­tral Hos­pi­tal in Jaffna, the big­gest pri­vate hos­pi­tal in the North­ern Prov­ince, with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the Jaffna Archdea­con Rev. S.J. Jeyaveeras­in­gan, the Jaffna Bri­gade Com­man­der, Bri­gadier Chan­dana Gu­nawar­dene, Lake House Jaffna Branch Man­ager, J. Su­da­ha­ran, Jaffna Col­lege Prin­ci­pal,, Vad­dukod­dai Noel Vi­mal­en­dran and Dis­trict Child Pro­tec­tion Of­fi­cer, Dis­trict Sec­re­tariat, Jaffna Ms. S. Kothai among oth­ers.

This is the 20th An­niver­sary of World Press Freedom Day, since it was an­nounced by UNESCO, and also the 10th an­niver­sary of the PCCSL.

The PCCSL is sup­ported by the News­pa­per So­ci­ety of Sri Lanka, The Edi­tors’ Guild of Sri Lanka, Free Me­dia Move­ment, Sri Lanka Work­ing Jour­nal­ists As­so­ci­a­tion, Sri Lanka Press In­sti­tute (SLPI), Sri Lanka Col­lege of Jour­nal­ism (SLCJ), Sri Lanka Tamil Me­dia Al­liance (STMA), Sri Lanka Mus­lim Me­dia Fo­rum (SLMMF), Fed­er­a­tion of Me­dia Em­ploy­ees Trade Union (FMETU) and South Asia Free Me­dia As­so­ci­a­tion (Sri Lanka Chap­ter).

A me­dia state­ment by the PCCSL an­nounced that their Jaffna Of­fice will be open from Mon­day to Fri­day from 8.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (For more in­for­ma­tion call 0214 927 000 – Jaffna or 011-53 53 635 -Colombo).

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