For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
Reporters Without Borders is concerned about the reasons that led the management of the newspaper Ceylon Today to force its editor in chief Lalith Allahakkoon to resign on 13 June. … Continue reading
Â Sri Lanka dropped down five places last year from 2010 to rank among the 20 worst countries in a leading survey of press freedom. The annual World Press Freedom … Continue reading
Reporters Without Borders has written an open letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa urging him to take whatever measures are necessary to protect Frederica Jansz, the editor of The Sunday Leader, … Continue reading
Reporters Without Borders calls on the Sri Lankan authorities to immediately release LankaeNews editor Benette Rupasinghe, who was today arrested by the Colombo police for allegedly threatening another man. Aged … Continue reading
Reporters Without Borders reiterates its support for LankaeNews, a Colombo-based online newspaper that has made a major contribution to media pluralism and independently reported news and information in Sri Lanka, … Continue reading
By Indi Samarajiva Reporters Sans Frontiers has protested the lack of freedom of expression in Sri Lanka. Their main target seems to be the government, though they have taken shots … Continue reading
The Fifth Galle Literary Festival may not result in any developments in the field of literature to attract international attention of scholars and writers but it certainly has resulted in the generation of much political polemics to draw in world renowned writers and commentators such as Noam Chomsky and Tariq Ali.
As you know I have dedicated the past thirty years of my life to defend human rights and media freedom in Sri Lanka, and continue to live and work in this country. The past years have been very difficult ones, especially as we face continuing attacks and intimidation from both state and non-state forces in the aftermath of the war and in the absence of any credible process of political negotiation with the Tamil community, let alone any process of reconciliation or healing.
A group of exiled Sri Lankan journalists, Journalists for Democracy (JDS) and Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF) have launched a global appeal to boycott the Galle Literary Festival.
The Editors of Groundviews received via email this morning intimation of an international appeal made by Reporters Without Borders and Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS), a network of exiled Sri Lankan journalists. The Galle literary festival appeal notes inter alia,
Fifty-seven journalists were killed in connection with their work in 2010, 25% fewer than in 2009, when the total was 76. The number of journalists killed in war zones has fallen in recent years. Significantly, it is becoming more and more difficult to identify those responsible in cases in which journalists were killed by criminal gangs, armed groups, religious organizations or state agents.
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.
On the 10th anniversary of Tamil journalist Mayilvaganam Nimalarajan’s murder in the northern city of Jaffna, Reporters Without Borders reiterates its hope that the Sri Lankan government will finally relaunch the police investigation into his death.
“In what country do you appoint an arsonist to put out fires?” Reporters Without Borders asked today after learning that Mervyn Silva, a politician notorious for insulting and physically attacking journalists, has been appointed deputy minister of media and information. Labour minister in the last government, Silva was confirmed in his new post by parliament on 23 April.
Reporters Without Borders condemns the imposition of additional restrictions on online free expression in Sri Lanka as the country held a presidential election on 26 January 2010. Access to the independent news websites Lankaenews, Lankanewsweb, Infolanka and Sri Lanka Guardian has been blocked by the country’s main Internet Service Provider.
Tension surrounds today’s presidential election, especially for the press, which has had to face many obstacles. Use of the state media to support President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s campaign for another term has been accompanied by harassment and violence against privately-owned opposition media, culminating in the 24 January abduction of political reporter Prageeth Eknaligoda. Reporters Without Borders appeals to both sides to make every effort to avoid an Iran-style scenario in which the challenging of a questionable election result leads to a cycle of demonstrations and repression in which the press would clearly be one of the victims.
Flouting a 15 January supreme court ruling, state-owned TV stations Rupavahini and ITN continue to openly favour President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s campaign to win another term in the presidential election to be held on 26 January with a total of 21 candidates taking part.
Detailed monitoring by Reporters Without Borders has established that 98.5 per cent of the news and current affairs air-time on these two stations on 18 and 19 January was given over to the president and his supporters.
7 Janu ary 2010
“A year has gone by without any progress in the investigation into his murder,” Lal Wickrematunge said today to Reporters Without Borders, on the eve of the first anniversary of the fatal shooting of his brother, Lasantha Wickrematunge, the Colombo-based Sunday Leader’s well-known managing editor. It is Lal who has replaced him at the helm of investigative weekly, some of whose journalists were recently threatened.
At least 29 journalists have fled Sri Lanka last year to stay alive due to the repressive nature of the country. The Paris based media watchdog Reporters Sans Frontiers said in its year end review last week that these journalists chose to flee their country to escape prison or death.