Media Seminar on Sri Lanka in London

Sri Lanka's president elect Maithripala Sirisena

Democracy, Governance and Media Reform in Sri Lanka and the Commonwealth – Tuesday, 20 October – Room G37, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

 Sri Lanka's president elect Maithripala Sirisena
Sri Lanka’s president elect Maithripala Sirisena

The Institute for Commonwealth Studies and The Democracy Forum is organising a seminar on ‘Democracy, governance and media reform in Sri Lanka and the Commonwealth’, at Senate House on Tuesday, 20 October from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm.

The seminar is linked to the publication of a volume on the Sri Lankan media – Embattled Media: democracy, governance and reform in Sri Lanka – which examines the history and development of the Sri Lankan media and in particular the legal and constitutional framework within which the media operates.

For registration, please contact Dr William Crawley on


0900    Registration and Coffee

0925   Opening remarks by Philip Murphy – Director, Institute of Commonwealth Studies

0930 – 1045 Democracy, Governance and Media Reform in Sri Lanka and India

Chair:  William Crawley, Institute of Commonwealth Studies – ‘South Asian perspectives on Media Law Reform’

Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena – ‘Governance and Media Law Reform in Sri Lanka:  Agendas for Change and Political Realities.’

Lawrence Liang – ‘Freedom of speech and expression by stealth: The ongoing dilemmas of free speech jurisprudence in India’

1045 – Coffee break 

1115-1245    Media Policy and Governance in the Commonwealth

Chair: David Page, Institute of Commonwealth Studies

A representative of the Commonwealth Secretariat

Mark Stephens CBE – Past President of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association  

Lawrence McNamara, the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law – ‘Media Freedom and Executive Accountability under the Commonwealth (Latimer House) Principles: Normalising the Best of Commonwealth Law and Practice’

1245-1330 – Lunch

1330-1500 – Safeguarding journalistic freedoms

Chair: Rita Payne, President, Commonwealth Journalists Association

Oliver Spencer – Article XIX

Nupur Basu – Indian journalist and documentary maker

Yolanda Foster – Amnesty International

Judith Townend – Institute of Advanced Legal Studies – ‘Digital media regulation and legal protection in the Commonwealth’

William Horsley – Director, Centre for Freedom of the Media, University of Sheffield – ‘International benchmarks for the protection of journalists’


1500 – Tea

 1530 -1700     Lessons for Academia and Development Policy   

Professor Daya Thussu – Westminster University – ‘A transnational perspective on teaching journalism: challenges and opportunities’

Nicole Stremlau –   Oxford Programme on Comparative Media Law and Policy

Tessa MacArthur  –  Team Leader, Empowerment and Accountability, DFID Governance and Open Societies Department –  ‘ DFID policy on governance and the media’   

James Deane, Director of Policy and Research, BBC Media Action – ‘Media and Governance: it’s time for a rethink’.