The government has established total media freedom today and some say it is too much now, Parliamentary Reforms and Media Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka said. He said when compared with the past, journalists today carry out their duties without fear of abduction, attacks, losing the job, political pressure etc.

"Journalists do not need to leave the country seeking protection," Karunathilaka said at a ceremony in Colombo yesterday to distribute motorcycles among journalists under a concessionary loan scheme. He said in the past, Editors were ordered what to publish and what not to publish.

Sri Lanka has climbed up from 165th place to 141st place in the world media freedom index under this government, the minister said.

Karunathilaka said providing motorcycles is not an election promise made by the government and the government will do everything possible to ensure journalists' welfare. Cabinet approval has been granted for the proposed housing scheme for journalists. Work on the project is progressing. Journalists need to pay only two percent of the interest for the concessionary loan granted to them to buy motorcycles, he said.

"Every possible effort will be made to make journalists' dream a reality. President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe have given me the fullest support for this task. My deputy minister and myself are two wheels of a motorcycle and we work together without any problem," he added.