For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
Information reaching NfR from Sri Lanka shows that the reason behind the last minute blocking of access to media at the hearings of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) took place at the infamous Boosa detention camp on 30th December 2010, was to prevent the media access to the hearings of selected witnesses who were to give evidence on that day.
Reporters Without Borders condemns the new forms of censorship and obstruction being used by government to prevent diverse and freely-reported media coverage of the situation in Sri Lanka. The fall in the number of physical attacks, threats and cases of imprisonment is to be welcomed, but it is worrying that the authorities are blocking the return of real editorial freedom.
Centre for Human rights (CHR) strongly criticizes preventing journalists from covering the LLRC session in the Boossa Detention Centre today (December, 30, 2010.) the LLRC was to meet around 100 hardcore LTTE cadres detained in the camp.
SRI LANKA: A whistle-blower who exposed the leakage of a question paper at Sri Lanka Law College forced into hiding
Ten international and Sri Lankan journalists including BBC correspondents were refused access to the Boosa detention camp this morning where the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) met with detainees.
Our attention is drawn to a statement by Networking for Rights (NfR – Sri Lanka) on 28.12.2010 titled “Sri Lanka: Director Education in Jaffna shot dead for speaking out”
NfR is shocked to learn that the Deputy Director of Education of the Valikamam zone of the Jaffna District who refused to direct the students of the schools in his zone to recite the National Anthem in Sinhala only, was shot dead in Jaffna on the same day when the controversial government sponsored Tsunami Commemoration Day Ceremony was held in Jaffna.
I am deeply perturbed with the regrettable Cabinet decision to deprive our Tamil speaking citizens of the right to sing the National Anthem in their mother tongue.
At the conclusion of less than even a year since the new Parliament was elected by the people, it might be appropriate to reflect on the performance of our lawmakers and assess how worthy they have been as the representatives of the people.
Minister of Higher Education S.B. Dissanayake was stopped from delivering a lecture at the 17th World Festival of Youth and Students held in South Africa, Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) convener Udul Premaratne said yesterday.
‘Ravaya’ newspaper has quoted Central Environment Authority chairman Charitha Herath as having said the National Environment Act had provisions to introduce such laws.
The Lasantha Wickrematunga murder case was taken up again in the Mount Lavinia courts.
During the previous hearing, the Terrorist Investigations Division was ordered by the Chief Magistrate Nirosha Fernando to appear today and accordingly, an officer of that division appeared in court.
Minelle Fernandez, Colombo Correspondent for Aljazeera International won an award for Broadcast Journalism from the United Nations Correspondents Association(UNCA). She collected her medal from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon at a Gala award ceremony in New York.
NfR expresses its serious concern about the continuance of intimidations and threats against journalists and human rights defenders in Sri Lanka, contrary to the claim that normalcy has returned to the country. It is important to note that all these acts of rights violations take place with complete impunity even though twenty months have lapsed after the end of the war.
The headline story of the Sunday Times of 12 December 2010 was deeply disturbing. According to it the Cabinet has made a decision that henceforth the national anthem will only be sung in Sinhala. Subsequent reports confirmed that the issue was discussed in cabinet but that no final decision had been taken. In the meantime the status quo was to be maintained.
We assaulted the protesting students at the Dehiwala Higher Technical Institute and chased them away leaving them only with their underwear and in Peradeniya, we stripped the fasting students naked and chased them away, said a beaming S. B. Dissanayake, Minister of Higher Education yesterday.
It is reported that Maj. Mahinda, an officer of the Army media unit has threatened the photographer of the Reuters Dinuke Liyanawatta and Eranga Jayawardene, photographer of the French News service (AFP) with death.
A conference organized by a group of non-governmental organisations and intellectuals in Jaffna to discuss development in the north and east over the weekend was called off yesterday, after Jaffna Mayor Yogeshwari Patkunaraja cancelled the booking for the hall at the last minute.
Intelligence authorities are investigating the Sri Lankans who had protested against president Mahinda Rajapaksa in London.