FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION SRI LANKA

For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya

A new broadcasting development authority – Ganegala

A new Sri Lanka Broadcasting Development Authority will be introduced soon to streamline telecasting and broadcasting activities, Secretary to the Ministry of Mass Media and Information, W.B. Ganegala told the Observer Online today.

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September 29, 2010

Sri Lanka MP interrogated over ‘dictator’ posters

The main opposition Sri Lankan United National Party (UNP) has accused the authorities of undermining democracy by intimidating parliamentarians.

September 28, 2010

GET LOST, MEDIA

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?

September 27, 2010

President as god or Idi Amin: CID summons Mangala

The United National Party’s new media head Mangala Samaraweera has been summoned to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) headquarters on Tuesday.

September 26, 2010

CID to grill Mangala (over the 18 A poster)

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.

September 26, 2010

Fonseka ordered killing of Lasantha, says Mervyn

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

September 24, 2010

Colombo Crime Division arrests press owner in Jaffna

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.

September 23, 2010

Censorship of The Economist

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.

September 21, 2010

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.

September 19, 2010

Protection from thought: The Economist and National Security in Sri Lanka

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.

September 18, 2010

AG ordered to file action if poster defamed President

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.

September 18, 2010

Sri Lanka bans BBC from covering civil war hearings

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.

September 18, 2010

‘DETAINING ECONOMIST CAN HAMPER INVESTMENT, TOURISM’

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.

September 16, 2010

Colombo refuses visa to NGO official

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.

September 15, 2010

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.

September 15, 2010

CUSTOMS DETAINS ‘THE ECONOMIST’ AGAIN!

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.

September 15, 2010

Press further sealed till Sept 27

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.

September 15, 2010

Rule of Law and Tamil Rights – key challenges of democratization in post war Sri Lanka

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

September 15, 2010

Lion king Rajapaksa, tiger tamer, ruler of Sri Lanka ….and frightened of The Economist?!

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’

September 14, 2010

UK ‘concerned’ over curtails on media

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.

September 14, 2010