Sri Lanka Brief
Freedom of expression

Freedom of expression

  • 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 […]

  • Northern catholic clergy’s concerns, calls to UNHRC endorsed

    A group of catholic clergy, laymen, and laywomen has endorsed the concerns and calls made in a letter to the president and members of the UN Human Rights Council by 31 Catholic clergy from Northern Sri Lanka, including the Bishop of Mannar.The group says in a statement that it also expresses grave concerns about intimidation […]

  • Sri Lanka to censor news alerts about military, police

    Sri Lanka’s Defense Ministry on Monday ordered news outlets to get prior approval before sending mobile phone alerts about the military or police, a move press freedom groups decried as another step towards greater censorship.In a letter hand-delivered to news outlets including Reuters, Media Center for National Security (MCNS) Director-General Lakshman Hulugalle said the new […]

  • Draft resolution on Sri Lanka tabled

    The draft resolution on Sri Lanka tabled by the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva has been prepared after “careful reflection and after extensive dialogue and bilateral engagement at the highest levels of the U.S. government,” the U.S. has said.The resolution has been roundly condemned by both the Sri Lankan government and the vocal Tamil […]

  • Mannar bishop cannot be allowed to fuel hatred

    Minister Wimal Weerawansa says he is asking bishop of Jaffna Rev. Rayappu Joseph by the name of God not to further fuel hatred or sabotage country’s peace.Thirty one northern catholic clergy, including the Mannar bishop, have issued a very serious statement, claiming war crimes in Sri Lanka, contrary to the statement by the catholic bishops, […]

  • Should summon the Bishop of Mannar to appear before the court.

    ‘Jathika Hela Urumaya, Party says that,Rev. Rayappu Joseph, the Bishop of Mannar, who requests the United Nations Organization that an investigation should be launched regarding the supposed war crimes allegations against Sri Lanka, should be immediately produced before court, as it is a violation of the constitution of this country.Jathika Hela Urumaya also says that, […]

  • DDoS attack disrupts TamilNet web traffic

    Distributed Denial-of-Service Attack (DDoS), identified by the service provider of TamilNet as originating in an orchestrated way from certain affluent parts of the world, has been disrupting web traffic of since Saturday. The attack on the independent media reporting to the world on Tamil affairs coincides with the opening of the 19th sessions of […]

  • Marie Colvin and Sri Lanka war crimes

    Ms Colvin lost her eye in Sri Lanka when shot at by the military while entering Govt territory after filing a report from restricted LTTE-held territory in 2001. Her iconic figure with a black patch over the left eye reporting from global conflict zones has been seen by hundreds of thousands around the world.Marie Colvin […]

  • JVP alleges govt. thugs disrupted leaflet distribution

    The JVP alleges that thugs of the government disrupted a leaflet distribution by the party in Moneragala this morning (Feb. 26). The party is involved in an island wide campaign to raise public awareness on bribery, corruption, wastage and other wrongdoings of the government through the distribution of leaflets, said its media unit. The group of […]

  • Attacks on dissent in Sri Lanka, Part 1 –Incidents in 2012

    Watchdog2012 has seen a sustained campaign Sri Lankan against human rights defenders with a special focus on any engagement with UN processes, including the 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council beginning in February in Geneva. Press freedom activists and organizations, human rights defenders and political activists are being accused of helping the revival […]

  • Attacks on dissent in Sri Lanka Part 2 – incidents in 2011

    Watchdog Human Rights Defenders in Sri Lanka continue to suffer attacks and intimidation through 2011 and 2012.  This submission focuses on incidents in 2011.   Impunity for attacks and threats against HRDs, labeling HRDs as ‘terrorists’ or traitors, the campaign against HRDs in the State media and linking these to their participation/involvement in  of the UN Human […]

  • 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 […]

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