Press release/ 08 January 2012
Sri Lankan state media which are directly controlled by the president’s office continue to slander the press freedom watch dog, the Free Media Movement and its leading activists.
In a response to FMM statement to prove state media allegation that FMM is working with the Tamil National Alliance state media has unleashed another round of false allegations. State media has miserably failed to prove any of its allegations but their hate campaign gets huge state media coverage.
It is clear that GOSL is trying to salience the FMM by these dangerous allegations.
Here we produce three such articles published by the sate media in Sri Lanka. This campaign intends to create a fear- psychosis among the press freedom community in the country
NfR calls upon all national and international democratic forces express their solidarity with the Free Media Movement and raise the concerns’ with the Government of Sri Lanka
Dinamina: Page 1: 06 Feb 2012
Photographs from the Free Media Movement in exhibition against the Motherland organized by LTTE supporters in London
Byline: Vijayani Edirisinghe
The Free Media Movement has sent photographs to an exhibition against this country, organized by two LTTE supporter groups. The exhibition was organized by the Global Tamil Forum and the British Tamil Forum at the premises of the British Parliament. In this exhibition, there are photographs that misinterpret even actions carried out by the security forces of our country with good intentions.
Among the photographs sent to this exhibition by the Free Media Movement is a photograph of disappeared journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda. This is the same photograph that was displayed at the demonstration of the Free Media Movement held at Lipton Circus a few days ago. The photograph is displayed with the caption Genocide.
Dinamina: Page 1: 07 Feb 2012
We are ready to go to Geneva: the Free Media Movement
Mr. Sunil Jayasekera, the Convenor of the Free Media movement, says that the Free Media Movement has no hesitation about joining hands with any mass organization or political party that works within the democratic framework to defend media freedom in this country, in the past or present.
This fact has been revealed in the Press Release issued to refute the article appearing in the Dinamina of February 3 which had stated that the Free Media Movement is engaged in a conspiracy with the TNA. The statement, bearing Sunil Jayasekera’s signature, also says that if the need arises they will not hesitate to go before not only the Human Rights Council but any international body of which Sri Lanka is a member to state their cause. The Dinamina article had stated that 6 members of the FMM had already left for Geneva together with some TNA MPs to bring this country to disrepute at the Human Rights Council which is due to start on the 27th of this month.
08 Feb 2012
To the Convenor
It is clear that the Convenor of the Free Media Movement and several others of that Movement have lost their cool.mr. Sunil Jayasekera, who represents himself as the Convenor of the Free Media Movement, has sent a somewhat threatening letter, challenging us and our institution. Their rage and their challenge to us is due to the Dinamina exposing the alliance and the combined conspiracy between the Free Media Movement and the TNA. When the truth is revealed, any Convenor would get enraged. This has happened in history. It is happening today.
There are several organizations in Sri Lanka which call themselves the ‘free media’ and which obstruct freedom and democracy in this country. The ulterior motive of these organizations is to place barriers in the way of progress and challenge the unitary nature of this country. Those organizations and individuals that support and encourage separatism and terrorism are their friends. It is against this background that the Free Media Movement allies with the TNA and obtains support from the Tamil diaspora.
In his statement Mr. Sunil Jayasekera says that the government is taking steps to suppress organizations such as the Free Media Movement and that this campaign of publishing untruths is related to that. There is no link between the government and the Dinamina. We do not have any need to publish untruths about an organization like the Free Media Movement. Nor do we accept that they are defending media freedom and democratic rights.
Does taking a stand for democracy mean supporting the Tiger terrorists? Supporting separatism? Making false claims on behalf of human rights in Sri Lanka? We are forced to tell the Free Media Movement o seek answers to these questions before they take a stand on democracy. Does media freedom mean going on demonstrations against the government? Organizing pickets? Strengthening NGOs? Becoming their contractors? We are forced to tell the Free Media Movement o seek answers to these questions before they take a stand on media freedom.
Nobody in this organization has taken a stand for freedom, peace or democracy in Sri Lanka. This is most clearly borne out by their behavior during the humanitarian operation. The Free Media Movement and some other organizations were firmly on the side of the Tigers then. We can recall that they used many strategies to undermine the humanitarian operation. The Mahinda Rajapakse regime was successful in defeating all these efforts and destroying the LTTE and separatism. Organizations like the Free Media Movement and some powerful Western countries are not ready to accept the victory of the people and of the government.
Many who were part of the Free Media Movement left the country after the defeat of the LTTE. Most of those who fled the country of their own accord are enjoying a luxurious life in the cold countries of the West. They receive the money and other facilities they need from NGOs and from the governments of those countries. Being thus dependent on foreign aid, they continue to be critical of Sri Lanka. They aim criticisms at the President. Their entire time is taken up by trying to do something or the other against Sri Lanka.
Convenor Sunil Jayasekera, who says that there is no alliance and no conspiracy between the TNA and the Free Media Movement makes a very interesting statement elsewhere in the Release: the Free Media Movement has no hesitation about joining hands with any mass organization or political party that works within the democratic framework to defend media freedom in this country, in the past or present, and, if the need arises, we reiterate that we will not hesitate to go before not only the Human Rights Council but any international body of which Sri Lanka is a member to state our case. This statement by Mr. Sunil Jayasejkera, the Convenor of the Free Media Movement, is absolutely correct. These organizations have previously worked to support the LTTE. They have also made representations before international organizations. They have done innumerable despicable things against the country. There is a proverb that even if the mouth lies, the tongue does not. Mr. Sunil Jayasekera’s conscience tells him that what we have published in our newspaper is the truth. They will go ahead with their conspiracy with the TNA.
The objective of several organizations who present themselves as media freedom organizations is to bring the government to disrepute by whatever means possible. This is a very strong political hatred. The people will recognize the fraudsters whose actions are driven by this hatred. On that day Sunil Jayasekera and all the so-called media freedom groups will not have anything left to say.