Sri Lanka Brief
Freedom of expression

Freedom of expression

  • Key Findings on Accountability in Sri Lanka

    Eight students from the University of Virginia School of Law* visited Sri Lanka from January 1 to January 16, 2012 as part of the Cowan Fellows Human Rights Study Project, an independent student organization. They conducted interviews in Colombo, Kandy, and the Vanni region with Government officials, activists, NGOs, journalists, IDPs, ex-detainees and other individuals […]

  • Defence ministry tapping phones of 687 persons – Mangala; Govt admits

    UNP’s Mangala Samaraweera alleged in parliament yesterday (Feb. 23) that the defence ministry was tapping the phones of 687 persons. They included 124 cabinet ministers and government MPs as well as religious leaders, newspaper editors and several journalists, he said, adding that two Chinese phone companies are being paid huge sums for carrying this out. This is […]

  • New laws for the Public Performances Board

    The Cabinet of Ministers is to be presented a Cabinet memorandum today seeking permission to introduce new legislation on the Public Performances Board. The memorandum has been drafted by the Mass Media and Information Ministry and the Cultural Affairs Ministry.The main aim is to monitor quality and the sense of balance in teledramas, commercial advertisements, […]

  • Schoolchildren cannot mimic the president Read more >

    Schoolchildren cannot mimic the president

    Central province chief minister Sarath Ekanayake has ordered that schoolchildren be not allowed to mimic president Mahinda Rajapaksa at public functions. His order to the provincial education secretary is expected to be issued in circular form to all principals in the province this week.  The most immediate reason for the order is that the child of […]


    If the time ever does come for a comprehensive evaluation of security policies and legislation adopted during the privation and emergencies of war and the peacetime ‘stability’ of a post-war context, it would only be fair to conclude that the unpleasantness of the former far exceeds the unpleasantness of the latter, but it is still […]

  • One killed, three injured as STF fires at protestors in Chilaw .

    One person was killed and three others were injured when the STF opened fire at a group of fishermen protesting in Chilaw a shortwhille back, residents claimed.  The fishermen were protesting over the increased fuel prices in the town. They were marching from the fish market to the town.The person killed as identified as  Warnakulasuriya […]

  • Judicial Intervention to Control Lawful Rallies? An Analysis on recent court orders obtained by Police to restrain meetings & rallies -By JC Weliamuna

    Basic Liberties cannot be taken away by any State Organ Let me begin this article with the following often quoted words, worth reading and digesting.“The law is not the private property of lawyers, nor is justice the exclusive province of judges and juries. In the final analysis, true justice is not a matter of courts and […]

  • Movement for Peoples’ Struggle awareness programme disrupted

    An awareness programme of the movement that was held at the Colombo Manning market today (Feb. 10) was disrupted by armed security personnel, the media unit of the Movement for Peoples’ Struggle says.’ With the movement commencing their awareness programme by distributing leaflets, armed policemen had approached them warned that no anti-government activities could be […]

  • Mahinda in Jaffna; and Posters Warning the Tamils Read more >

    Mahinda in Jaffna; and Posters Warning the Tamils

    With President Mahinda Rajapakse making a visit to Jaffna, posters warning the Tamils with death are being distributed throughout the country.  These posters threaten the Tamils with death for supporting the Liberation Tigers and for spreading tales against the Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. The posters are said to warn the Tiger supporters both local […]

  • Tamil journalists blocked from attending Rajapaksa’s meetings in Jaffna

    The wards of the Chaavakachcheari hospital, renovated with help from Red Cross societies from Finland and Ireland at different stages and that were already declared open, were declared once again opened by SL president Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday. The ‘hijack’ move projected as a part of ‘grand opening’ under Rajapaksa’s Vadakkin Vasantham (the spring of […]

  • FMM challenges ANCL, Editor Dinamina

    Media ReleaseThe Free Media Movement (FMM) unequivocally rejects the allegations and insinuations made in the Dinamina headline story on Friday (03 February) as blatant lies, unfounded, unsupported and unsubstantiated. We further believe, the report was published with the malicious intent of undermining independent media, which is fighting for democracy and freedom of expression, and those […]

  • Can GOSL Implement LLRC Recommendations?

    By JC Weliamuna This is the question of the day. This is raised nationally and internationally and answers contrast for different reasons. In this article, I endeavor to briefly answer this question from a governance perspective, keeping in mind the present socio-political realities in Sri Lanka. The President appointed the Commission of Inquiry on Lessons […]

  • FMM chellenges state media to prove allegations made against FMM

    The Free Media Movement says it rejects the claims made against the movement by the lead story of the lake House owned Dinamina newspaper on Feb. 03,  2012.  The FMM further challenges the Lake House administration and the Dinamina editor to present credible evidence to prove the claims. The new report claimed that the FMM had […]

  • Kusal Perera first to get booted out of Sunday Leader

    Well known political critic and writer, Kusal Perera contributing to “Political & Governance” column in the Sunday Leader news paper is booted out, say inside sources, after the Sunday Leader was bought over by a Rajapaksa proxy, Asanga Seneviratne a well known racketeer. Kusal Perera’s stand against military rule and Tamil people in Sunday Leader […]

  • ‘Rejecting’ Sri Lanka on Independence Day

    ”What contradicts banal official assurances that governance processes would be set to rights post LLRC extends to a far more disturbing reality than that. When something as fundamental as a protest demonstration by the media gets hijacked by pro government protestors numbering thugs holding clubs and three wheeler drivers who defy a court order that […]

  • A Silenced Media

    Frederica JanszLast week a story on the front page of a daily English newspaper caught my eye.  Not for its content but for the sheer absurdity of such a story having made headlines on the front page of a newspaper.  This was the story: Manioc stolen from Horogolla. The article went on to say that […]


    When this correspondent went to the Fort Railway Station to join colleagues in a planned demonstration of media activists last Thursday, he was confronted by an unexpected situation. The site of the proposed demonstration was already occupied by (presumably) agents of the government who held a counter protest. Their placards read: “Free Media Movement is […]

  • Court dismisses police request against doctor protest

    Colombo chief magistrate Rashmi Singappul dismissed a request by Cinnamon Gardens Police to ban a protest by Ayurvedic doctors at Lipton Circus today (Jan. 30).  The magistrate told police that they had powers, as per article 95 (01) of the Police Ordinance, to prevent any rally or protest being held in violation of the law.Ayurvedic […]

  • Armed pro-govt mobs protected by police hijack ‘Black January’ media protest outside Fort Railway station

    Pro-government protesters, some armed with clubs, seized the promenade outside Fort Railway Station on Wednesday, to prevent media activists from observing “Black January,” a month when many of Sri Lanka’s journalists were attacked over the years.This was despite the Colombo Fort Magistrate Kanishka Wijeyratna making an order that media activists be allowed to stage their […]

  • Media activists challenge government

    Media activists coming down hard on Minister Keheliya Rambukwella for his statement accusing journalists of being in the LTTE payroll have demanded legal action against those reporters if proved.  “We challenge the government to prove these charges, because we’re ready to face the consequences,” said Sunil Jayasekera, Convener of the Free Media Movement.“So many people […]

  • University non-academics protest banned . Read more >

    University non-academics protest banned .

    Police had sought a court order preventing the protest march organized by non-academic staff of universities reaching the University Grants Commission premises today.Police barriers were seen at different entry points to Colombo. About 1000 protestors demanding authorities to address their salary anomalies, gathered at the Viharamahadevi Open Stadium. Thursday, 26 January 2012  ST

  • Action of journalists doubtful-Keheliya ( but could not name them)

    Cabinet Spokesperson, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella charged that reasonable doubt is cast over the actions of certain journalists who are working based on secret agendas.  Speaking at a press conference held yesterday to update cabinet decisions; Rambukewella noted unfortunately the legal framework of the country does not allow the government to file charges against these journalists […]

  • pro gov group takes on FMM

    Hundreds of journalists representing private and public sector media institutions yesterday launched a massive protest against attempts by the Opposition in connivance with the Free Media Movement (FMM) to tarnish the image of the country at a time when it has won accolades from all parts of the world for restoring peace and democracy in […]

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