For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
The main opposition Sri Lankan United National Party (UNP) has accused the authorities of undermining democracy by intimidating parliamentarians.
It is true that Sri Lanka has rarely been a model of transparency. Still, what conceivable reason could there have been for preventing foreign media from covering public hearings of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission held earlier this month in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu?
The United National Party’s new media head Mangala Samaraweera has been summoned to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) headquarters on Tuesday.
Former SLFP strongman and new defector to the UNP Mangala Samaraweera has been summoned to the CID’s notorious Fourth Floor for questioning on Tuesday at 10:30am over the alleged defamatory posters printed at a printing press at Mirihana.
Deputy Highways Minister Mervyn Silva yesterday told Parliament that he has evidence to prove that former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka ordered the assassination of the then Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunga
A special team of Colombo Crime Division arrested the owner of Churapi Achchakam (printing press), C. Kuruthev, in Jaffna Tuesday and took him to Colombo for inquiry, sources in Jaffna said.
SINCE January 2009 The Economist has been banned or censored in 12 of the 190-odd countries in which it is sold, with news-stand (as opposed to subscription) copies particularly at risk. India, the only democracy on our list, has censored 31 issues and at first glance might look like the worst culprit.
The editor of ‘Uraikal’, a weekly paper published in Kaththaankudi in Eastern Province, said that a gang of men of Sri Lanka minister M. L. A. M. Hisbulla have for the second time attacked his house in Kaaththaankudi on 13 September, in a complaint made to Kaaththaankudi police.
In what may be explained as an utterly fatuous action in a country that apparently has no official policy on censorship – but is plagued by the arbitrary regulation and control of online content as well as print media – Customs officials have detained two issues of the Economist this year.
The Supreme Court has ordered the Attorney General to produce in a Court of Law within two weeks Mr. Jayampathy Bulathsinghala who is being detained at Mirihana Police alleging that he had printed an illegal poster humiliating the President.
Tamil civilians in Kilinochchi (July 2010) during a visit by President Rajapaksa The public hearings are due to hear from Tamil civilians displaced by the civil war The BBC has been blocked from covering public hearings about Sri Lanka’s civil war in former rebel-held territory.
The Sri Lanka Book Publishers’ Association points out that detaining the Economist magazine by the Customs will adversely affect investment and tourism promotion in the country.
The Sri Lankan Government has ordered Daniel Horgan, security coordination officer of Nonviolent Peaceforce, a foreign NGO, to leave Sri Lanka immediately, the Sinhala language Divaina newspaper said in an article. The order was made when Horgan sent in his papers seeking renewal of his visa to continue his work in Sri Lanka.
The government has taken measures to sabotage the seminar under the theme “Farming being dragged to the chopping – block” organized by All Ceylon Farmers Federation of the JVP that was to be held at Dambulla today states the Media Unit of the JVP.
The Economist’ magazine has been held back at the Customs, says its distributor in Sri Lanka. Vijitha Yapa, the local distributor for the magazine, said that no specific reason had been provided for the Custom’s action.
Nugegoda Magistrate Rohana Anura Kumara Herath yesterday further sealed till September 27 the printing press which had allegedly printed posters with disfigured photographs of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Staring at a great opportunity of genuine democratization brought about by the end of the war, Sri Lanka appears to be going back to a more historical form of democracy that prevailed in ancient Greece, where democracy was effectively the will of a small group of privileged people, with majority of its people such as women and slaves prevented from participating in governance and politics
Reports suggest that the latest edition of the Economist has been detained by customs at Colombo airport to prevent its distribution. Most likely explanation is because the issue contains a story criticizing the 18th Amendment: ‘Sri Lanka’s constitutional amendment: Eighteenth time unlucky’
minister says Sri Lanka should do more for reconciliation ‘rather than just words’
Alistair Burt, Minister for the Middle East and South Asia in the Coalition government, told the Westminster parliament that the government was aware of the ground situation in Sri Lanka.