Sri Lanka Brief
Freedom of expression

Freedom of expression

  • FCO report – UK concerned over Human Rights in Sri Lanka Read more >

    FCO report – UK concerned over Human Rights in Sri Lanka

    The human rights picture in Sri Lanka in 2011 was mixed. The Sri Lankan government continued to focus on post-conflict reconstruction, including the resettlement of civilians displaced during the 30-year civil war, and has made progress reintegrating former Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fighters back into society. The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission’s (LLRC) […]

  • Free media shown the door at BIA . Read more >

    Free media shown the door at BIA .

    The bulk of the independent media was prevented from covering the arrival of the six Sri Lankan fishermen who arrived at the Bandaranayake International Airport (BIA) earlier today, 10 days after they were rescued by Spanish marines from the captivity of Somali pirates. The free media was informed by a fisheries ministry official at the BIA […]

  • CPJ Impunity Index – Sri Lanka

    Deadly, unpunished violence against the press rose sharply in Pakistan and Mexico, continuing a dark, years-long trend in both nations, the Committee to Protect Journalists has found in its newly updated Impunity Index. The global index, which calculates unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each country’s population, shows that Pakistani authorities routinely fail to […]

  • SLFP suspends disciplinary action against members

    The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has decided to suspend disciplinary action against errant party members because of the lack of support from the party hierarchy for such action, a senior party source said yesterday. He said the main reason for this decision was the failure to take disciplinary action against controversial minister Mervyn Silva. […]

  • Now criminal white Van trails behind artistes

    Two of Sri Lanka’s popular artistes have been subjected to death threats , according to reports reaching Lanka e news.  One of them who received threats is an artiste who had participated in a number of electronic media programs and is popular for being candidly critical of the political situation in the country. He had […]

  • University dons claim new circular violates academic freedom

    University teachers yesterday accused the government of violating their academic freedom through a new circular prohibiting State sector officials from attending additional meetings, seminars and lectures without prior approval from the relevant ministry.President of the Federation of University Teachers Associations (FUTA) Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri told The Island that they received a circular from Higher […]

  • Sri Lanka hid vital information, ran into brick wall: legislator

    Sri Lanka has suppressed information, ignored warnings from independent analysts, manipulated data and markets until the economy ran into ‘brick wall’ a legislator who is an economist has said. “The government is hiding information from the public,” opposition United National Party legislator Harsha de Silva told reporters. “When we warned about the wrong policies, when we said […]

  • Smear campaign against dissident voices.

    The Alliance of Media Organizations is disturbed by the recent wave of hate speeches and slanderous personal attacks directed against media personnel and human rights activists in the country, in the aftermath of the United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution on Sri Lanka.Last week, Minister Mervyn Silva, addressing a public rally, threatened to ‘break the […]

  • Ex-AG Mohan Peiris as witness: Court will decide on May 17 .

    In the magisterial inquiry into the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda, Homagama Magistrate T.G.S.A. Perera on Monday reserved order for May 17, whether or not to call former Attorney General (AG) Mohan Peiris as witness, The Magistrate reserved the order after the prosecution challenged the validity of the transcript copy of the statement made by […]

  • Media groups call for action against Mervyn .

    Questions over law enforcement as minister openly boasts of forcing journalist to fleeMedia organisations are making legal consultations regarding the recent statement made by Public Relations Minister Mervyn Silva, where he admitted forcing journalist and media rights activist Poddala Jayantha to flee the country two years ago.Free Media Movement Convener Sunil Jayasekera told the Sunday […]

  • FR petition against website blockade put off for 3rd time

    The Supreme Court has put off until May 19 a fundamental rights petition against the blockade of certain websites.The Free Media Movement has filed the petition.At a hearing yesterday (Mar. 29), representatives of citizens groups propagating the right to information were present at the court. A panel of lawyers led by J.C. Weliamuna is appearing […]

  • Mervyn’s comments are a matter for the police, says Govt.

    The government said yesterday that Public Relations Minister Mervyn Silva’s recent statement that he was responsible for chasing former Free Media Movement Convenor Poddala Jayantha out of the country was a matter for the police to deal with.Cabinet Spokesman and Acting Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena responding to questions at a news conference in Colombo […]

  • Prageeth’s wife claims irrelevant cross-examination at court hearing

    The wife of the missing cartoonist Pradeep Ekneligoda says she was cross-examined at the Homagama courts over totally irrelevant matters in a petition she has filed citing former attorney general Mohan Peiris as the respondent.Sandya Ekneligoda said she was questioned at the court yesterday (Mar. 26) regarding her presence at the UNHRC session in Geneva. […]

  • Sri Lanka – Human rights defenders threatened and subjected to a smear campaign for participating in the Human Rights Council

    FRONTLINE DEFENDERSFrom 9 March to 23 March 2012, Dr Paikiasothy Saravunammutta, Ms Nimalka Fernando, Ms Sunila Abeysekera, and Mr Sunanada Deshapriya were targeted by government media and a Government Minister for their participation in the 19th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, where they had been lobbying to expose human rights violations in […]

  • Amid Sri Lankan denial, threats rise for journalists

     Bob Dietz/CPJ Asia Program CoordinatorIn the wake of the U.N. Human Rights Council resolution calling for an investigation into Sri Lanka’s alleged abuses of international humanitarian law during its war with Tamil separatists, the government has resorted to outright threats of violence against journalists who might dare to return home after taking part in the […]

  • Alarming Increase in Hostile Rhetoric, Threats of Reprisals against Journalists in Sri Lanka

    The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) strongly deplores the alarming escalation in hostile rhetoric and the barely concealed threats of reprisals that have been made against some of the country’s leading journalists and human rights defenders by representatives of the Sri Lankan government and by state-owned media outlets.This follows the adoption of a resolution by […]

  • Mervyns’ statement should be condemned: GL

    External Affairs Minister G.L Peiris yesterday said he could not condone statements made by a government Minister who claimed that he would clamp down on journalists and human rights activists who had travelled to Geneva.   “It is wrong and there is no defense of it. I cannot condone a statement from anybody when they state […]

  • 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. […]

  • Minister Mervyn in ‘cover up of VVIP’

    The senior journalist union leader who was forced to flee Sri Lanka after being brutally attacked has accused a controversial minister of making public statements in order to protect the real perpetrators.Poddala Jayantha was abducted by an unidentified group on 1 June 2009 taken to a hideout, brutally assaulted and left on the street with […]

  • Ministry Rejects 50 Applications of web sites

    The government has rejected the applications of 50 websites which had sought to register with the Media Ministry. Media Ministry Secretary W. B. Ganegala said that 100 applications had been received for registration but only 50 were approved.  He said that the 50 which were rejected did not have the required information or had false information. The […]

  • MInister Mervyn to break limbs of HRDs who went to Geneva

    For the video in Sinhala  Minister Mervyn threatens to break limbs of journos– treacherous Journalists. Minister Mervyn Silva said 0:00 ” Yesterday there was a vote, I am thankful for all media those journalists who showed live coverage for hours the picture of sour faces of white men when they were criticized by UNHRC […]

  • CID holds Belgian filmmaker, his girlfriend under house arrest

    The CID is holding a Belgian filmmaker and his French girlfriend under house-arrest at a Negombo Hotel, Ravaya reports.The police are tightly guarding the premises and are questioning the couple without allowing them to venture out of their room, the newspaper says. The CID has seized a collection of DVDs from them, and is also […]

  • Mervyn threatens to break limbs of journos .

    Minister of Public Relations Mervyn Silva warned that he will break the limbs of some journalists, who have gone abroad and made various statements against the country, if they dare to set foot in the country. “I’m the one who chased one of those journalists ‘PoddalaJayantha’ out of this country. I will break the limbs of […]

  • Lawyers condemn ITN’s media usage

     Lawyers for Democracy accuses the state-run ITN of branding journalists and civil society representatives as terrorists and traitors for their participation at the UNHRC session in Geneva.A statement signed by advocate Lal Wijenayake on behalf of the LD urges the public not to be misled by this mudslinging propaganda aimed at provoking them against lawyers […]

  • The attacks on human rights defenders is a rejection of the recommendations of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission

    About the security of Sunila, Saravanamuttu and NimalkaPRESS RELEASE/14.03.2012The Free Media Movement condemns, without hesitation, the provocative and hate-filled attacks being carried on by the state media, targeting three prominent Sri Lankan human rights defenders.The reason behind these attacks is that they have participated in the sessions of the UN Human Rights Council  and expressed […]

  • Sri Lanka media restrictions come amid rise in abductions

    On March 9, Sri Lanka’s military authorities told all news and media organizations that they would have to get prior approval before releasing text or SMS news alerts containing any news about the military or police. I checked with some reporters in Colombo. The restrictions on reporting on the military were formally lifted in August […]

  • Censorship Imposed on News Alerts by Sri Lanka’s Military Authorities

    The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins affiliates in Sri Lanka in sharply denouncing the latest move towards news censorship in by the country’s authorities.In a letter addressed to various news and media organisations, the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) a body which operates under Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defence, has demanded that “any […]

  • Sri Lanka limits news texts about military, police

    The Ministry of Defense hand-delivered an order to news organizations Monday.Media rights activists hold up posters of missing Sri Lankan cartoonist Prageeth Eknaligoda during a protest rally in Colombo on January 24, 2012. Eknaligoda disappeared on January 24, 2010, just hours before the presidential election. Rights groups have repeatedly accused the government of stifling media […]

  • Sri Lanka censors SMS

    ‘Any news related to national security and security forces, the police should get prior approval’ The government of Sri Lanka has imposed a censorship on short text messages (SMS) related to security forces.The defence ministry has instructed media outlets that send SMS news alerts that all news related to national security, security forces and the […]

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