For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake threatened, yesterday, to withdraw from his duties related to the Presidential Election asserting that the authorities concerned had not aided him by adhering to the guidelines and regulations issued by him to create an atmosphere conducive to a free and fair election. Mr. Dissanayake, at a meeting with the representatives of political parties, expressed his disgust and disappointment over the failure of the government to cooperate with him in this respect.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lankan journalists Tuesday demanded justice for a renowned newspaper editor gunned down by attackers on motorcycles, complaining no arrests have been made in the case a year after his killing. Lasantha Wickrematunge, editor of The Sunday Leader newspaper, was shot dead in his car by assailants on Jan. 8, 2009.
Media activists in Sri Lanka have vowed to continue protests until the media freedom is established in the war battered nation.
In a protest in Colombo to mark the first anniversary since the assassination of Sunday Leader editor, Lasantha Wickramathunga, the activists accused the government of deliberately not taking action against murder suspects.
Serious concerns with regard to the unsolicited New Year’s Day text message sent on behalf of the President and other consequential issues relating to the conduct of a free and fair presidential election:
On 6 January 2010, the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) wrote to Mr. Dayananda Dissanayake, the Commissioner of Elections expressing serious concerns over an unsolicited New Year’s Day text message sent on behalf of the President and other consequential issues arising over the conduct of a free and fair presidential election.
CPA in its letter noted that these concerns were brought to Mr. Dissanayake’s attention at first instance, but that the contents of letter would be made public within a reasonable time period, together with Mr. Dissanayake’s responses and a description of any action of he had taken with regard to the issues raised.
Eight media organizations are scheduled to demonstrate at the Lipton Circus in Colombo today (12) against the government’s failure to punish those responsible for the killings and attacks on journalists. (And for photos)
Based on an interview Sri Lanka Guardian with Basil Fernando, A Sri Lankan lawyer, a poet and a writer, and the director of AHRC.
(January 08, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka Guardian) The very least that citizens can demand when a murder takes place is a credible inquiry. There is nothing more basic, nothing more decent, and there is nothing more necessary for any kind of decent human relationship of one citizen to another. Yet in Sri Lanka there is the most shameless tradition of not even doing this minimum thing of demanding an inquiry into a murder.
Rupavahini ignored strict guidelines issued by the Elections Commissioner and went ahead with the live telecasting of the President’s election manifesto launch. Under instructions from President’s powerful brother Basil Rajapakse and Dulles Alahapperuma, the state channel has telecast the event from 10.25 to 11.40 last morning (11th). Rupavahini sources confirm that Rs 300,000 has been spent on producing the programme and Rs 500,000 on the telecast.