July 23, Colombo: Defence Secretary of Sri Lanka Gotabhaya Rajapaksa today said the media needed to be responsible when reporting about incidents of crime.
He called on the media to be responsible in reporting crime since it could have an impact on the country's image.
Speaking at a seminar organized by the Government Information Department on crime and national security, Rajapaksa noted that improper reporting of crime related reports would have a negative impact on tourism and investments to the country.
He pointed out that the while the media needed to report incidents of crime, it should be done properly.
However, Rajapaksa observed that due to the media focus on crime and culprits of those acts has resulted in many suspects on warrants being arrested.
The Defence Secretary also added that there is no increase in the country's crime rate according to statistics but more incidents are reported now.
However, the police spokesman earlier this month noted that crimes against children, especially rapes of minor girls, have risen alarmingly in Sri Lanka this year with over 700 incidents of rape or abuse of children reported during the first six months of the year.
Responding to the criticism that several government politicians are involved in high-profile crimes, Rajapaksa said the police were not under any political interference and are engaged in their duties freely.
He said that maximum measures have been taken to prevent crimes in the country and the Police have been instructed to take legal action against those who are involved in crimes disregarding their status and political mediation.
Recently there were several incidents of sexually molesting underage girls by local politicians in power.
Despite tough laws already in existence, child molestations have been alarmingly on the increase in Sri Lanka, since the punishments are not imposed strictly, especially when politicians are involved in the crimes, child rights groups point out.