The government delayed a measure to lift censorship for foreign reporters covering the civil war in Sri Lanka, officials said Saturday.

President Chandrika Kumaratunga approved lifting the ban, but officials have not finished drafting the measure, said government officials who spoke on condition of anonymity. The ban was scheduled to be lifted Friday.Local journalists will still be forced to submit to military censorship.

Censorship was imposed on June 5 after heavy fighting broke out in northern Sri Lanka between government forces and Tamil Tiger guerrillas. Censors told reporters, for example, to substitute the word "terrorists" for "rebels."

The government said the move was a temporary measure during the fighting near Mankulam.