No new licences will be given for casinos, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa speaking to media heads at Temple Trees last morning. He said that be it Mr. Packer or anybody else, no licences will be granted. Anybody contravening licencing regulations and establishing casinos will be dealt with, and their casinos closed down, he said.

The President also said that the move to have casinos in one particular demarcated enclave is in the interests of public morals. Existing casino owners who have been given licences could operate in these demarcated areas. A meeting of casino owners had been called in this regard.

He said that what obtained in the 1970s cannot obtain now and societies and polities undergo change. However he stated categorically that no new casino licences will be given though entrepreneurs cannot be stopped from collaborating in business for instance, with existing casino owners.

On the subject of the media ethics code he said that it is upto the media to add or subtract from the Code of Ethics proposed by the government and hand it back to the government as a media code of ethics and due observance is necessary. Reputations are precious he said, adding that there have been instances when school children have refused to go to school or have had to be transferred out to remote schools as a result of their parents’ reputations being unfairly damaged in the media.

“The media has its own code of ethics but it has been observed in the breach. So you formulate your own code and hand it over to us as it is very necessary to have a media ethics regime that’s workable,’’ he told assembled newspaper editors and broadcast media heads.

(Courtesy: Daily News)