FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION SRI LANKA

For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya

FMM seminar raided

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Some of the participants at a media workshop organised at Janaki hotel.

A team of immigration officers raided a workshop held by the Free Media Movement (FMM) at Janaki Hotel, Colombo, yesterday afternoon (30).

Sources told The Island about eight media organisations including the International Federation of Journalists were involved in the three-day seminar, which commenced on Oct. 29.

An immigration official said that the Asia Pacific Director of IFJ, Jacqui Park and another IFJ official were present at the time of the raid. As IFJ representatives were here on tourist visa they couldn’t get involved in a media project, the official claimed.

The seminar was meant to discuss freedom of expression in post war Sri Lanka and ways and means of overcoming obstacles faced by the media. A senior official said that the organisers could have avoided an unnecessary issue by obtaining the required visas for the guests.

The official said that none of the organisers or participants had been detained, though some of them had been questioned on presence of foreign media personnel who had not obtained the required visas.

The Island

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