Colombo: Sri Lankan President has scrapped a contentious code of conduct for journalists after editors and rights groups, government and media sources said on Sunday.

President Mahinda Rajapakse ordered his Information Ministry not to proceed with the proposed code of conduct bill, but instead leave it in the hands of senior editors to update their own code of ethics.

"The government will not go ahead with the code," a senior Information Ministry official said.

"The President met with editors on Friday and discussed the issue. They may or may not use elements of our draft," he added on condition of anonymity.

The new code drawn up by the Information Ministry sought to prohibit "material against the integrity of the Executive, Judiciary and Legislature". It also warned against the publication of content that "offends against expectations of the public, morality of the country or tend to lower the standards of public taste and morality".

Sri Lanka had been ranked 162 out of 179 countries in a recent press freedom index compiled by the Paris-based Reporters without Borders and media rights groups say journalists have been forced to self-censor.

(Agencies)

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