Approach to web media and internet activism in Sri Lanka may soon mirror China on Darfur

The NY Times carries an article on the alleged activities of Chinese and / or the Chinese Government in disrupting the online advocacy of The Save Darfur Coalition by sophisticated  Internet attacks. Kristof goes on to note that:

The Darfur advocacy community has tried to shame China into suspending arms transfers to Sudan and taking other steps to get Sudan to stop slaughtering its citizens. This has enraged the Chinese authorities, and that may explain these web attacks. The Chinese government has put resources into high-tech Internet warfare, and thus the government is suspect, but it’s also plausible that the hackers are ordinary Chinese citizens who feel patriotic and are indignant at foreigners besmirching the reputation of the Beijing Olympics.  

With regards to Sri Lanka, as the renowned Sri Lankan blogger Indi says on his blog:

… China is more complicated because they simply give us money and look the other way on human rights. They give us over $1 billion dollars and all we pay with is our geopolitical balls. China gets a vassal vote at the UN and builders interests in our highways, power plants, and ports. Basically, the most important shit in the country. We are becoming dependent on them for our economy and security. There is no free lunch in this world, especially with real players like China. They are not stupid, they aren’t nice, and they aren’t spending $1 billion dollars out of human kindness. China is acquiring a voting share in Sri Lanka to use against bigger players like India.

With China now our largest donor and a despicable regime in Sri Lanka partial to blocking websites, the open militarisation of media institutions, total closure of media houses, open intimidation of journalists with complete impunity, the growing censorship of books and knowledge production along with other disturbing human rights abuses by sections of the Government and military, it is when, not if, Sri Lanka starts to clamp down more heavily on critical web and Internet based media.

And disturbingly, this includes private telcos uninterested in standing up for democratic governance themselves.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. “Customs Official” responds to Government censorship « ICT for Peacebuilding (ICT4Peace) - March 25, 2008

    […] Censorship is growing in Sri Lanka. It’s good to sometimes laugh about it as helps to countenance the more stark reality. Posted by Sanjana Hattotuwa Filed in ICT in general Tags: Censorship, Government, Lirneasia […]

  2. New York City clamps down on SMS and mobile phone activism « ICT for Peacebuilding (ICT4Peace) - March 31, 2008

    […] of thing you’ll expect to hear about in Sri Lanka or […]

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