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Premadasa Clarifies Misquoted Statement on Liquor Stores

May 17, Colombo (LNW): In a recent development, Sri Lankan opposition leader Sajith Premadasa took to X (formerly Twitter) to clarify a misquoted statement published by the Daily Mirror, which sparked controversy and widespread discussion.

Premadasa’s tweet read: “.@Dailymirror_SL is a mockery of journalism. Deliberately misquoted me and later changed the article, no correction issued. I said I will cancel liquor licenses issued as bribes not ban liquor stores if we come to power. What I will ban is @Dailymirror_SL from any press briefings.”

The opposition leader was addressing a report that initially stated he would ban liquor stores if elected to power. Premadasa emphasized that his actual intention was to cancel liquor licenses that had been issued as bribes, not to implement a blanket ban on liquor stores.

The Daily Mirror subsequently removed the article from its website, but did not issue a formal apology or correction, leading Premadasa to label their actions as a “mockery of journalism.”

However, the concluding statement in Premadasa’s tweet, which suggested barring the Daily Mirror from future press briefings, drew significant criticism from advocates of press freedom. They argued that such a move would undermine the principles of a free press, essential for a functioning democracy.

This incident highlights ongoing tensions between political figures and the media in Sri Lanka, raising important questions about journalistic integrity and the balance between correcting misinformation and preserving press freedom.

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