For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
by D.B.S. Jeyaraj
Today January 6th is the first anniversary of a “terror” attack on the MTV-MBC Radio/TV station in suburban Colombo. None of the culprits responsible for the attack have been apprehended let alone prosecuted despite a whole year passing by.
What I want to do here is to refresh memories of readers about this vicious attack on media freedom and the freedom of expression by reproducing excerpts from a few news stories I wrote last year about the incident for the Transcurrents website:
Lanka-e-News, Jan.06, 2010
JVP M.P. Bimal Ratnayake in Parliament yesterday (05) charged that, because the Asian Tribune website is run out of monthly Govt. funds, it is publishing false fabricated news against Opposition common candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka.
A declaration by media organizations presented to the presidential candidates and political parties towards the establishment of freedom of media in Sri Lanka.
The said agenda of reform is presented with the following core values and imperatives –
In any event, we call upon all Presidential candidates to declare their strong and unequivocal commitment to the protection of freedom of expression and information and in particular on the following, and pledge to implement the following;-
It was with a sense of deep disgust and dismay that we received news that renowned film director Somaratne Dissanayake who is a ardent supporter of the Rajapaksa regime reiterated on a political programme broadcast over a private media network that if the present President wins the forthcoming election, he will use his second term to subjugate and further strangle the private media. Mr. Dissanayake in fact went so far as to say that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had given
By Melanie Bamunusinghe and Nabeela Hussain
The Peoples Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) yesterday said there had been a significant increase in the number of complaints on election violence at this presidential election so far in comparison to the previous presidential election.
PAFFREL executive director Rohana Hettiarachchi told a news conference that 172 complaints were received during the last presidential election while the number of complaints for this election has already reached 115, with 20 more days to go
This administration is complicit in every one of these crimes against the media community by its sheer refusal to take any form of tangible action against the perpetrators of such heinous acts, the main opposition UNP said yesterday.