Free Media Movement in Srilanka
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its Sri Lankan affiliates in condemning the continued blocking of the news portal Lanka-e-News by internet service providers in Sri Lanka since October 18.
According to information received from IFJ affiliate the Free Media Movement (FMM), two major internet service providers in Sri Lanka, the government-owned Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) and the privately owned Dialog Axiata PLC, have blocked access to the website. A smaller service provider Mobitel, which is partly owned by SLT, has also reportedly started blocking the website.The website continues to be available through relatively smaller internet service providers in Sri Lanka and is fully accessible from abroad.
The FMM has in a statement put this latest act of suppressing access to the news portal in a clear sequence of vindictive actions by the Government of Sri Lanka or political agents acting on its behalf. This is a sequence that includes the disappearance of Prageeth Eknaligoda, a cartoonist and columnist for Lanka-e-News in January 2010, the torching of its office premises in January 2011 and the arrest of its news editor in April.The website has since then been operating from a location outside Sri Lanka.
According to an explanation posted by Lanka-e-News, the decision to block access to the site does not come on judicial or regulatory grounds. The Sri Lanka Telecom Regulatory Commission (SLTRC) has said that it is not in any way responsible for blocking the website, and no judicial body has been reported to have requested an injunction against it.
The FMM reports that similar arbitrary actions have in the past been taken against two other news portals, LankaNewsWeb and the Sri Lanka Guardian. Award-winning citizen journalism website Groundviews, and its Sinhala-language counterpart Vikalpa were temporarily blocked by SLT on June 20.
“The IFJ fully supports our Sri Lankan affiliates’ mobilisation of public opinion against this vindictive action, which effectively denies Sri Lankans access to an important source of information,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.“The Government of Sri Lanka and agencies such as the SLTRC must investigate and clarify the role of state authorities in the blockage of Lanka-e-News as a matter of priority.”
( Srilanka Guardian)
In northeast India, water-management practices to deal with climate change
In a small village on the north bank of the Brahmaputra in Assam in northeast India, farmer Horen Nath stood gazing at his partially submerged paddy field. The floods had kept their annual date but mercifully, the farmer said, the waters have started receding. "The weather has become very strange of late. We always had ample rain,
UAE, Saudi Arabia can help India meet any oil deficit, says UAE envoy
Even as the US-imposed sanctions on Iran has put India’s energy security in jeopardy, United Arab Emirates Ambassador to India Ahmed Albanna has allayed fears of an oil shortage, saying hi...
India, China headed into a 'marriage squeeze' due to gender imbalance
Partition: A dissection of the 'metaphor for madness'
INDIA PRE AND POST INDEPENDENCE, INDO-CHINA AND BEYOND