FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION SRI LANKA

For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya

Colombo censors BBC Tamil, Sinhala services

Sri Lankan state-run Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC), which relays BBC’s Tamil and Sinhala services in the island, avoided airing Sandeshya, the BBC Sinhala service on Sunday. In the meantime, BBC’s Tamil language service ‘Thamizhoasai’ was jammed on Friday and Saturday.

The SLBC informed the listeners to listen to the service on BBC’s own website.

Informed sources in Colombo told TamilNet that while the Tamil service was interrupted with jamming, the Sinhala service was not aired at all as it carried a story quoting an exiled journalist Poddala Jayantha, who was forced to leave the island after being abducted and tortured.

“I firmly believe that the person who ordered the abduction and the brutal assault on me was a senior defence official,” Mr Poddala Jayanthan told BBC from the United States.

The ‘censorship’ by the SLBC comes while the Colombo establishment has stepped up a systematic campaign against exiled Sinhala journalists.

SLBC has a track record of jamming BBC Sinhala and BBC Tamil during the war against Eezham Tamils.
TN

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