News Update :

Website registration fee Rs100,000 and Renewal fee Rs. 50,000

Friday, July 13, 2012

The government has decided to levy a registration fee of Rs 100,000 and an annual renewal fee of Rs 50,000 from each news website.

This will be done through an amendment of the Sri Lanka Press Council Law to make registration of newscasting websites compulsory, Mass Media and Information Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said at the Cabinet press briefing at the ministry yesterday.

He said Cabinet approval was granted for this on Wednesday. He said the law was effective for newly registering as well as already registered websites with the ministry.

The minister observed that the main objective of amending the Press Council law is to ensure the contents of the websites do not harm defenceless individuals.

He said that government has a responsibility to make sure that a regular pattern and a certain amount of dignity and decorum is maintained in the field of the media. He observed that the government is of the view that the time is ripe to bring in necessary amendments to the existing law to accommodate new technologies and new methodologies used in this sphere. He pointed out that if certain media are behaving irresponsibly, the government is bound to correct it. He noted that websites did not exist during the time when the Act was brought in 1973.

He said this move is a corrective measure initiated by the ministry. He requested the media to take up this move in the right spirit without narrowly looking at it as a politically driven intention.

"The media should pay proper attention to the language and content they disseminate to the people. He observed that even the so called five star democracies in the world are today talking of controlling websites," the minister said . The minister said the amendments would be presented to Parliament shortly. The minister also said that a revision of registration fee would be considered once again due to complaints that it is too high.

Information Department Director General Prof Ariyaratne Athugala and Information Director Wasanthapriya Ramanayake also participated.
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