The minister of Information and Mass Media Hon. Bandula Gunawardena met all the media heads today (12) at the ministerial auditorium to have a discussion on the implementation of the media policy as stated in the manifesto “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour”. The possible measures that can be brought to create an ethical media culture of the country and the benefits to be provided to the journalists were the focal points at the discussion. The secretary to the Minister Mr. W.A. Chulananda, Director General of Information Mr. Nalaka Kaluwewa and the media heads of both state and private media had been present at this moment.

The Hon. Minister disclosed that more educational opportunities would be created for the skillful media personnel who have been disqualified for the university entrance due to the z-score by initiating higher educational courses and diplomas attached to the state universities under the preview of the Ministry of Higher Education. It is expected that these courses which would be designed in collaboration with the media scholars and heads will add to the paper qualifications of the journalists. Moreover, 10 subsidiary institutions will be established under the University of the Visual and Performing Arts and the experts of various fields will be recruited as the lecturers. The Minister Gunawardena requested the assistance of the media heads in this task.

Drawing attention to the media policy stated in the national policy, Mr. Chulananda Perera said that journalists will be provided with the concessions such as houses, vehicles, land and so on.  He further explained the procedure that the journalists should follow to be eligible for these benefits.

The government has put the environmental preservation on high priority and under this green policy, 40,000,000 trees will be planted in on 19th April at the same time marking a world record. The Secretary explained that this project will be carried out based on 14,028 divisions as a cost free task with the involvement of the school children under the slogan, “Ada wawamu pelayak, heta nelamu palayak”. An app called Thuru will be launched simultaneously to monitor the status of these trees tri-monthly provoking a new culture and a new trend in the country.

Giving copy rights to the artists in terms of intellectual property was also subject to the discussion and thereby it was decided to pay 30 rupees for each song played in the radio and 100 rupees for every song telecast on TV.