INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Sri Lanka to battle bad press abroad

COLOMBO, SRI LANKA: Faced with increased international and domestic media criticism of his country and its long-lasting civil war, Sri Lankan media minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa has decided to launch an image campaign.

COLOMBO, SRI LANKA: Faced with increased international and domestic media criticism of his country and its long-lasting civil war, Sri Lankan media minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa has decided to launch an image campaign.

COLOMBO, SRI LANKA: Faced with increased international and domestic media criticism of his country and its long-lasting civil war, Sri Lankan media minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa has decided to launch an image campaign.

The initiative is designed to turn around Sri Lanka's profile in the eyes of the world press.

Yapa told the country's domestic press he was 'dumbfounded' that a negative image of Sri Lanka was being communicated abroad.

'It happens that the government is fighting an expensive war in the north and east, while attempting to find solutions to the economic and social problems of the country,' Yapa said.

'Which is why,' he continued, 'media people should realize that these affairs are of a special nature and why they should attempt to convey the truth to the people.'

Yapa also said he was 'ready to assist journalists to rid them of their career problems and obtain facilities to widen their knowledge, thereby improving journalism and journalistic coverage of the country.'

Yapa's initiative, which will not involve any domestic or international public relations agencies, will also target foreign journalists working in Sri Lanka. Many of them have recently suffered criticism and personal attacks for their coverage of the country.

In particular, the BBC's George Arney has in recent weeks been severely criticized in the Sri Lankan national press for his reporting.





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