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NewsUN-Sri LankaThe continuing saga of alleged accusation by the president Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives re prominent Sri Lanka human rights defender

The continuing saga of alleged accusation by the president Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives re prominent Sri Lanka human rights defender

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A list of false allegations and attacks on Sri Lankan HRD, Mr. Sunanda Deshapriya due to his participation in the 18th session of United Nations Human Rights Council in Sept. 2011 by media controlled by and sympathetic to the Sri Lankan government

Title: Two traitors has crept in to Geneva council
13th Sept. 2011: Dinamina, (State controlled Sinhalese daily paper)
News items saying that a former leading light of the Free Media Movement has crept into Geneva Human Rights Council in the aim of mobilising Tiger (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam – LTTE)) support against the government
The news item was republished in many Sinhala nationalists sites
Title: Betrayals unlimited
13th Sept. 2011: Ceylon daily News, (State controlled English daily paper)
News items saying that a former leading light of the Free Media Movement has crept into Geneva Human Rights Council  in the aim of mobilising Tiger (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam – LTTE)) support against the government
The Ceylon Daily News is considered as the flag bearer of state owned media institution Associated News papers of Ceylon limited.
Title: Two Traitors in Geneva – Dinamina
13th Sept. 2011 Sri Lanka Mirror, (Colombo based news website)
Reported that a journalists working for Sinhala Daily Dinamina had told them the Free Media Leader mentioned in the news story Two Traitors (see above) is Sunanda Deshapriya.
A photo of Sunanda Deshapriya was also published
Title: First showing of a conspiracy
15th Sept. 2011: Divaina, (Sinhalese daily newspaper that regularly presents anti-NGO and pro government views)
The editorial said that “….there were some Sri Lankan journalists who support the LTTE at the UNHRC. One of them barked at the president Maldives like a ‘Tiger’. Our respect is deserved to the President of Maldives who turned the Tiger supporter to a fox by saying ‘one needs to serve one’s own motherland not its enemies’.” The editorial also critiques the report of the UNSG’s Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka and having this brought to the UN HRC
The news paper has condoned physical violence against activists they brand as traitors and has provoked such attacks in the past. 
Title: The Maldivian President blames former head of free media movement
15th Sept. 2011: Divaina, (Sinhalese daily newspaper that regularly presents anti-NGO and pro government views
A front page news item with the by line of Keerthi Warnakulasuriya said that President of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed strongly charged  the presence of the former Free Media Movement Head to act against the country instead of defending the country is a disgrace in a response to a question raised by him.
Title: You are a traitor to Sri Lanka – Maldivian President blames a journalist
15th Sept. 2011: Lanka C News, (Colombo based news website, believed to be the propaganda arm of a Government Minister, who had been a vocal critique of the UN, Foreign Governments promoting accountability and NGOs
It was reported that Mr Mohamed Nasheed, the President of Maldives, had severely blamed the Former Chief of the Free Media Movement. ”It is a shame that you have come here to act against your country, but not on behalf of your own country’. It further reported that the the Former Chief of the Free Media Movement who rose after screening of the film ‘Lies Agreed Upon’ during the Human Rights Seminar, which was made by the Sri Lankan Defence Ministry,  had questioned the right that the Maldivian President have to speak regarding Sri Lanka.
Many comments were made by readers calling for attacks against Mr. Deshapriya. The story carries a photograph of Mr. Deshapriya
Title: Maldivian President advices a Sri Lankan journalist
15th Sept. 2011 – morning news broadcasts: Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, (State controlled radio station operating in Sinhalese, Tamil and English languages)
Below news was broadcast during in the morning news bulletins in all three languages (i.e. Sinhala, Tamil and English)
”The President of the Maldives, Mr. Mohammad Nasheed has told the former head of the Free Media Movement that it is a disgrace to work against one’s own country. The former had questioned the right of the President to speak about Sri Lanka after the screening of the film ‘Lies Agreed Upon’. Responding to that question the Maldivian President had said that he emphasized fully aware of the situation of Sri Lanka. When the Maldivian president asked him whether he is form a NGO he has accepted it. Then the Maldivian president has been able to silence the former FMM head.
Annex 7 (English audio clip)
SLBC news bulletins are considered as the official versions of GOSL of the issues covered.  
Vimasuma: A lessons thought by Maldivian president to Sunanda Deshapriya
15th Sep 2011: ITN, State controlled TV channel in its prime time Sinhala language news programme (minutes 20.36 to 22.25)
A translation of Sinhala language telecast is here:
”At the Geneva Human Rights Council Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed taught a lesson to  the former Free Media giant  Mr. Sunanda Deshapriya, who had worked for LTTE  when he asked the president  where does he gets the right on behalf of Sri Lanka. Mr.Deshapriya asked this question after the screening of film produced by Ministry of Defence, Lies Agreed Upon. The president of Maldives didn’t leave any room for former Free Media head to ask any more questions.” (the language used is harsh, and provocative)
The news programme is viewed by millions of people in Sri Lanka and available on line.
The clip shows Sunanda Deshapriya at the GOSL side event and President Nasheed speaking to imply that he was responding to Sunanda Deshapriya. The only video photographer at the GOSL side event on 13th Sep 2011 was official Presidential photographer Sudath Silva.
Title: How did Tigers get US war communication equipment?
18th Sept. 2011: Sunday Divaina, (Sinhalese Sunday  newspaper that regularly presents anti-NGO and pro government views, particularly in it’s defence column)
A section of the defence column said that responses of the president of Maldives to the Former head of Free Media network exposed who are the terrorists are. It names a former head of Free Media Movement as “Ranji Malli” which refers to Sunanda Deshapriya. The column also says the Maldivian President had told “Ranji Malli” that it is s shame that he had come there (the Geneva event) against the country.
The article published a photograph of Sunanda Deshapriya seated at the side event organised by the GOSL. It was reported that only Sri Lankan photographer at the side event was presidential photographer Sudath Silva
Title: Legitimate and Illegitimate
18th Sept. 2011: Silumina, (State controlled Sinhalese Sunday paper)
The editorial which is devoted to attack Sri Lankan  human rights defenders participation in UN HRC  stated that “….these days a leading one among the exile journalists who had become illegitimate by betraying the country is loitering in the Geneva Human Rights Council”
The terms legitimate and illegitimate is used in context of children who are born as legitimate and those who subsequently betray their parents – and adopting this to portray those who are born in Sri Lanka and work to destroy Sri Lanka
Title: Gossip, Sub title: backbone
18th Sept. 2011: Rivira, (A Sinhalese Sunday newspaper that generally presents pro-government views and reports)
Below news was written the top of the gossip column: ” A discussion at the highest place. The subject was about Geneva. Close circle of minsters were there.  Talk was about an NGO man who is against the country. One minister said that he is also our man, we should win them over. Then came a strong attack. That was a brain confusing comment that said ‘although our people don’t have a backbone, the Maldives boss has a good backbone’”
The press freedom watch dog Free Media Movement of Sri Lanka and Networking for Rights in Sri Lanka, an international network of Sri Lankan journalists and human rights defenders has condemned the media attacks on Sunanda Deshapriya and emphasised that no such incident has taken place at the GOSL organised side event at Un HRC, Geneva on 12th September 2011.
Note: Sunanda Deshapriya attended the 18th session of the UN Human Rights Council under the due accreditation of the International Movement Against All forms of Discrimination and racism, an NGO with consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council
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