He stated this participating at the Committee Stage Budget Debate under the head of the Ministry of Mass Media and Parliament Reforms.

The Minister said deeming media freedom is one of the achievements of the January 8 ‘silent revolution’ and today they can express their views without hindrance. The Journalists who left for overseas to rescue their lives during the past regime has returned to Sri Lanka today as the climate has been created for them to freely engage in their work. the Minister said.

"When we came to power on January 8, there was no media freedom in the country. Media freedom had hit rock bottom. Media freedom is ensured now under President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe

Minister Karunathilake further said. "We have already commenced several programs for the welfare of journalists. We have identified suitable lands to construct houses for journalists. Land plots are being demarcated to commence construction work. We have also formulated a program to provide duty free motorcycles to journalists and nearly 2000 media personnel who were interviewed and selected would be granted duty free motorbikes before the end of this year".

A program to provide loans for journalists who wishes to upgrade their professional standards is being implemented and 150 personnel will be given loans on Dec.18, he said.

Minister speaking about the state media institutions, pointed out that fraud and irregularities had taken place in these institutions during the last regime. He disclosed that the total bank debt and bank overdraft of the Lake House was 80 million rupees when the present government was formed on 8th of January this year. The Minister pointed out the television rights of cricket matches were given back to the national television he became the Media Minister.as well.The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (Lake House) was returned on January 8 with a due of Rs. 800 millions. The cricket matches telecast owned to the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation was defrauded and after becoming the Media Minister.

Even during the General Election campaign, we maintained a balanced media policy. Even the people didn’t expect the State media to be balanced. If we maintain this balanced media policy, those who distanced themselves from the State media would also switch to it. SLBC has now become the nation's true voice and the Government Press is also operating very efficiently. he further added.