Sri Lanka profile - Media

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A man buys a newspaper with front page news of Sri Lanka's president-elect Ranil Wikeramasinghe at a newsstand in Colombo on July 21, 2022Image source, Getty Images
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Media outlets are divided along ethnic lines

Sri Lanka's media divide along language and ethnic lines.

Privately-owned networks have the lion's share of the TV audience. Non-state media often engage in political debate and criticise government policies.

The state runs two TV stations, radio networks and newspapers in Sinhala, Tamil and English.

At the height of the civil war Sri Lanka was one of the world's most dangerous places for journalists.

Despite the pledges given by President Sirisena in 2015 to investigate past attacks on journalists, nearly all the crimes of violence against journalists remain unpunished, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said in 2018.

RSF said political control over media ownership is a major concern and has the potential to undermine pluralism and impartiality.

There were some 8.9 million internet users by July 2022, 41% of the population ( The web is a popular and growing medium for news.

There were major restrictions to online connectivity and social media platforms during communal violence in early 2018, said US-based Freedom House.




News agencies/internet