For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya

Tissainayagam Pardon Still Not Finalised

South Asia Media Solidarity Network and the IFJ continue to monitor the progress of the Sri Lankan Government’s promised full and unconditional presidential pardon for journalist J.S. Tissainayagam.

June 16, 2010


The Colombo High Court today ordered that journalist Susil Kindelpitiya be released on surety bail in Rs. 50,000.

June 13, 2010

An application has been filed for the withdrawal of an appeal filed by Senior Journalist J. S. Tissainayagam to process the Presidential pardon granted to him on the World Press Freedom Day on May 3.

May 25, 2010

Sri Lanka and Its Journalists — A Country Going Wrong

CPJ has launched a new report, In Sri Lanka, No Peace Dividend for Press. It takes a close look at the media in Sri Lanka, one year after the government declared a decisive victory over Tamil secessionists that ended 30 years of bitter, often genuinely suicidal ethnic conflict.

May 25, 2010

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) urges Sri Lanka’s Government to speed up its processing of a full and unconditional presidential pardon for senior Tamil journalist J.S. Tissainayagam

May 17, 2010

A fortnight gone, Tissa not yet pardoned

Two weeks had gone but formalizing the Presidential Pardon granted to senior journalist J. S. Tissainayagam is yet to be finalized. Jailed journalist J. S. Tissainayagam who is on bail is still awaiting the completion of the legal procedure to obtain the President’s pardon issued on him officially.

May 16, 2010

Thought crime, torture and kingly fiat

“Tissainayagam’s pardon is clearly an act of Sri Lanka’s international diplomacy, an act made possible by the complete absence of the rule of law as an operating principle in its legal system,” writes a columnist in the Tamil Guardian newspaper.

May 16, 2010

In cynical gesture, Sri Lankan president pardons journalist

Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Minister, G.L. Peiris, announced at a press conference last week that President Mahinda Rajapakse had decided to grant a pardon to journalist J.S. Tissanayagam to mark World Press Freedom Day.

May 12, 2010

Tissa Underground

Senior journalist J. S Tissainayagam remains incognito – hiding in a safe house, despite a Presidential pardon, according to close family members.

May 9, 2010

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is awaiting details and verification that senior Sri Lankan journalist J.S. Tissainayagam will receive a full presidential pardon for his conviction on charges of “causing communal disharmony”.

May 6, 2010

Missing Sinhala journalist under unlawful custody, wife files HC application

The missing journalist Prageeth Ekniligoa of Lanka E-News since January 24 is being held under unlawful custody or detention with the knowledge of police officers, stated in a Habeas Corpus application filed by his wife Mrs. K.M.S.P.Ekniligoda and his two children S.S.Bandara Ekniligoda and H.D.Sooriya Ekniligoda in the Court of Appeal.

April 27, 2010

Sri Lanka accused soldiers freed – Lasnatha murder

Police in Sri Lanka say they have released 17 soldiers detained on suspicion of killing or attempting to kill journalists and editors.

April 15, 2010

Attacks on editors: Court orders further detention of suspects

The Colombo Magistrate yesterday allowed the TID to further detain the two suspects arrested in connection with the murder of Sunday Leader editor. Lasantha Wickrematunga, the abduction, intimidation and attempted murder of The Nation’s former deputy editor Keith Noyahr and attacks on and attempted murder of Rivira chief editor, Upali Tennakoon.

March 30, 2010

Journalist, 4 others further detained

Police have been allowed to further detain and question journalist Ruwan Weerakoon and four others, who face a charge of conspiring against the state.

March 26, 2010

Author held in book row

A BAHRAIN resident has been arrested in Sri Lanka after converting to Islam and writing two books in Sinhalese allegedly offensive to the spiritual leader of Buddhism.

March 25, 2010

Sri Lankan Tamil wins foreign journalist of year award

A Sri Lankan Tamil has been named foreign journalist of the year at the British Press Awards in London. JS Tissainayagam was arrested in 2008 and sentenced to 20 years in jail for inciting racial disharmony in his magazine. He was bailed in January.

March 24, 2010

British Press Awards – Tissa nominated

The British Press Awards have for more than 30 years celebrated the best journalism from the national press.

March 24, 2010

Sri Lanka: Leaked state intelligence hit list

Lanka News Web reported earlier this month that “state intelligence units have drawn up a list of names of active journalists and NGOs [non government organisations]” and categorised them according to a points system. While the full list has not been published, those named are connected to organisations and media outlets critical of President Mahinda Rajapakse and his government.

March 22, 2010

USA state department 2009 Human Rights Report: Media freedom in Sri Lanka

The law provides for freedom of speech and of the press but in practice this was not always supported. The government owned the country’s largest newspaper chain, two major television stations, and a radio station.

March 20, 2010

Protest over arrest of Sri Lanka reporter

Sri Lankan media groups Thursday protested against the arrest of a reporter close to Sarath Fonseka, the detained ex-army chief who tried to unseat the president in recent elections.

March 19, 2010
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