Tag Archives: Media Freedom

Government denies plans for web filtering, wants to establish online ethics

Two news stories published today address concerns over recent reports that the Sri Lankan government was planning to filter critical dissent online, in a context where websites have been blocked arbitrarily and without any legal authority. Ironically, pornographic sites that have been banned by the law are more easily accessible than those than are not! […]

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SLT blocks Tamil websites

Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) has blocked access to the following websites as of today from its ADSL network: Tamilcanadian and TamilCanadian’s News Section Puthinam.com Tamilnation.org Reports I have received indicate that these are still accessible on Dialog. All ISPs in Sri Lanka have repeatedly blocked access to Tamilnet.com, but actions today indicate that the scope […]

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Full text: Colombo Declaration on Media Freedom and Social Responsibility, October 2008

Available as a PDF in English, Sinhala and Tamil. Also see emphasis on Internet freedom and respecting blogger’s rights here. ~ On the Occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Colombo Declaration on Media Freedomand Social Responsibility (“Declaration”), we, the undersigned: Reaffirming our commitment to the principles and values articulated in the Declaration, and to […]

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2008: Celebrating the growth of media freedom and the freedom of expression in Sri Lanka

NOT. Media freedom and the freedom of expression took a nose dive in 2008, following trends from the year before. Print, electronic and web media were severely undermined by government and LTTE supported violence – both physical and verbal – against dissent, independent opinion and investigative journalism. Framed by escalation of hostilities in the North […]

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Citizen journalism on Groundviews and Vikalpa’s YouTube channel interrogates assassination of Lasantha Wickremetunge

The Editor in Chief of the Sunday Leader and one of Sri Lanka’s best known journalists Lasantha Wickremetunge was murdered on 8th January 2009 en route to work. He was beaten and shot repeatedly and succumbed to his injuries in hospital. The first post on Groundviews on the assassination can be read here. Lasantha was […]

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Gagging the web and Internet: Implications of the proposed Private TV Broadcasting Regulations in Sri Lanka

Censorship of media in Sri Lanka isn’t a new phenomenon, but the Rajapakse regime took it a step further recently when it recently promulgated a new set of regulations through a gazette notification, called the Private Television Broadcasting Station Regulations. The over broad and ill-defined regulations, in parts copied and pasted verbatim from Indian Cable TV […]

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Revisiting the Colombo Declaration on Media Freedom: The importance of new media, the web and Internet

I was invited to present some thoughts on a session on new media organised by the Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) as part of a workshop that would renew the 1998 Colombo Declaration on Media Freedom. Before the panel began, D.B. Nihalsingha, the Chair for the panel, asked Rohan Samarajiva and I what the acronym […]

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Shooting in public – Citizen journalism under threat in Sri Lanka

In recent months, pedestrians who filmed public bomb attacks on their mobile phones have been confronted by the police. One citizen who passed on such footage to an independent TV channel was later vilified as a ‘traitor’. Overly suspicious (or jealous?) neighbours called the police about a friend who was running his video editing business […]

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Sri Lankan Government clamps down on bogus SMS messages and common sense too…

There’s a Star Trek episode called The Ultimate Computer that has Spock, at the end of episode, turning to Dr. McCoy and stating with his inimitable deadpan face that if Dr. McCoy’s engrams were impressed on a computer, the resulting torrential flood of illogic would be most entertaining! I found myself recalling Spock’s comment when […]

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“The Truth Can Be Adjusted” – Communications and media censorship in Sri Lanka

I watched the brilliant Michael Clayton yesterday, a movie with a tagline that’s deeply resonant in Sri Lanka. The obnoxious Sri Lankan President and his government, over the course of 2007 and particularly this year, has censored media and communications in Sri Lanka violently and with complete impunity, adjusting the “Truth” as they see it […]

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