[ප්‍රකාශිත හේතුවක් නැත – පෙත්සම ඉවතට] වේබ් අඩවි වාරණයට අවසර

ශ්‍රී ලංකාව තුල හා ඉන් පිටත සිට ප්‍රවෘත්ති පළකරන වෙබ් අඩවිවලට ලංකාව තුලදී පිවිසීමට තිබූ හැකියාව අවහිරකරමින් ඒවාට පහසුවෙන් පිවසීමට තිබූ අවකාශය වලකාලමින් එම වෙබ් අවඩි සහමුලින්ම වාරණය කිරීමට විරැද්ධව නිදහස් මාධ්‍ය ව්‍යාපාරය විසින් ගොනු කරනු ලැබූ මූලික අයිතිවාසිකම් පෙත්සම කිසිදු හේතු දැක්වීමකින් තොරව ඊයේ ප්‍රතික්ෂේප කළේය. කෙසේ නමුත් මෙවැනි ප්‍රතික්ෂේප කිරීමකදී එයට හේතු දැක්විය යුතුවිය නමුත් මෙහිදී කිසිදු හේතු දැක්වීමක් සිදු නොකර මෙය ප්‍රතික්ෂේප කිරීම තුල කිසියම් පුද්ගලයෙක් හෝ ආයතනයක් අධිකරණයක් තුළ ගොනු කරන ලදි මූලික අයිතිවාසිකම් පිලිබදව පෙත්සම් මගින් යුක්තිය ඉෂ්ඪ කර ගැනීම පිළිබදව තත්ත්වය මනාව පිළිබිබු වේ.

විශේෂයෙන් මෙම මූලික අයිතිවාසිකම් පෙත්සම නිදහස් මාධ්‍ය ව්‍යාපාරය වෙනුවෙන් සුනිල් ජයසේකර සහ උදය කලුපතිරණ යන අය විසින් ගොනු කරන ලද්දේ පසුගිය වසරේදී වෙබ් අඩවි 5ක් විදුලි සංදේශන නියාමන කොමිසම විසින් ලංකාව තුල එයට පිවිසීම වාරණය කිරීම නිසා ජනතාවගේ තොරතුරැ දැනගැනීමේ මූලික අයිතිය එයින් උල්ලංඝනය වන බව පවසමින් ය. ආචාර්ය ශිරාණි බණ්ඩාරනායක, එන්. ගාමිණි අමරතුංග සහ ආර්.කේ. සුරේෂ්චන්ද්‍ර යන විනිසුරු මඩුල්ල ඉදිරියේ පෙත්සම් කරැවන් වෙනුවෙන් පෙනී සිටි නීතිඥ ජේ.සි. වැලිඅමුණ මහතා කියා සිටියේ වෙබ් අඩවි තහනම් කිරිමට මේ දක්වා නීතියෙන් ප්‍රතිපාදන නොමැති බවයි.

වගඋත්තරකරුවන් වෙනුවෙන් පෙනී සිටි නීතිඥයින් කියා සිටියේ අදාළ වෙබ් අඩවි ප්‍රවෘත්ති හා ජනමාධ්‍ය අමාත්‍යාංශයේ සහ විදුලි සංදේශ නියාමන කොමිසමේ ලියාපදිංචි කර නොමැති බවයි.

කෙසේ නමුත් පශ්චාත් යුධ ශ්‍රී ලංකාව තුළ නව මාධ්‍ය භාවිත කරමින් නව සංවාදයක් ඇති වෙමින් තිබියදී මෙන්ම එය බොහෝ විට ප්‍රධාන ධාරාව අමාන්ත්‍රණය නොකරන ඉසව් මෙම මාධ්‍ය තුලින් ආමත්‍රණ්ත්‍රය කරමින් තිබියදී මෙවැනි වාරණයන් පැනවීම තුලින් ලංකාව තුළ තිබෙන මාධ්‍ය ඒකාධිපතිත්වය නැවත වරක් මනාවට පිළිබිබු වේ. ඒසේම මෙවැනි අවහිර කිරීම් හෝ අඩපණ කිරීම ලෝකයේ ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදය ගරැ කරන ශ්ෂ්ඪ සම්පන්න කිසිදු රටක් ක්‍රියාකර නොමැති අතර ඒ සදහා ඉතාමත් අසාර්ථක උත්සහයන් පවා ගෙන ඇත්තේ ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදය, මූලික අයිතිවාසිකම්, තොරතුරැ දැනගැනීමේ නිදහස සහ පුරවැසියන්ගේ නිදහස පිළිබදව කිසිදු තැකීමක් නොකරන චීනය, මියන්මාරය වැනි රටවල් අතලොස්සක් පමණි.

එබැවින් මෙයින් ලංකාව නැවතත් ප්‍රදර්ශණය කර ඇත්තේ අදහස් පළකිරීමේ හා තොරතුරැ දැනගැනීමට පුරවැසියා සතු අයිතිය පිළිගැනීමට සහ භාවිතයට ඔවුන් තුළ අති අකමැත්ත සහ ඒ තුළින් ජනමාධ්‍ය මර්ධනය කිරීමට ඔවුන් තුළ ඇති දැඩි අභිලාෂයයි.

උපුටා ගැනීම – http://vikalpa.org/?p=10534

 

Geneva UNHRC and Sri Lanka Government – Media Conference in Colombo

by – http://www.vikalpa.org

Geneva UNHRC and Sri Lanka Government – Media Conference[Sinhala Version]

 

By – http://www.vikalpa.org

Geneva UNHRC and Sri Lanka Government – Media Conference

Censorship Imposed on News Alerts by Sri Lanka’s Military Authorities

 

By – IFJ

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 news related to national security, security forces, and the police should get prior approval from the MCNS before dissemination”.

 

The letter is signed by MCNS Director-General Lakshman Hulugalle and dated March 9. It will apply to all news alerts issued through text and SMS over the phone network.

 

Emergency regulations in force for much of Sri Lanka’s quarter-century long civil war allowed for prior censorship of news platforms. Since the lifting of the state of emergency in August 2011, there no longer appears to be a clear legal sanction for censoring news flows.

 

The MCNS directive follows an incident in the north of the country in which three soldiers of the Sri Lankan army were killed. Rumours soon emerged, suggesting that the insurgent army that had waged a quarter-century long civil war against the Sri Lankan government was regrouping. These rumours were soon dispelled by an official statement clarifying that the incident involved a soldier of the Sri Lankan army who had shot two colleagues before turning the gun on himself.

 

There were also news alerts that were sent out at the same time regarding a police officer being arrested while demanding a large bribe, and a botched abduction attempt involving personnel of the armed forces.

 

Sri Lanka’s Free Media Movement (FMM), an IFJ affiliate, has warned that the MCNS directive could be the first step towards re-imposing a comprehensive regime of censorship over the media.

 

“We urge the Sri Lankan government to reconsider this move, which does little to rebuild an atmosphere of trust between the country’s ethnic communities after a quarter century of strife”, said the IFJ Asia-Pacific.

 

“The Sri Lankan government should also be aware that the world is waiting in anticipation for it to initiate long overdue gestures of reconciliation that would contribute towards a long-term peace in the island-nation”.

 

“Yet far from implementing the comprehensive recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) — a body appointed with a mandate from Sri Lanka’s President — the Government seems set upon a course of heightened confrontation”.

 

“We call on the Sri Lankan government to withdraw the latest moves towards censorship, and urge serious engagement with all representative bodies to see that the LLRC recommendations, which include significant measures on freedom of speech and the right to information, are implemented”.

 

 

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0950

 

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

Sri Lanka to censor news alerts about military, police

COLOMBO (Reuters) – 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 order was effective immediately.

“I have been instructed to inform you that any news related to national security, security forces, and the police should get prior approval from the MCNS before dissemination,” Hulugalle said in the letter, dated last Friday.

That was the same day local news outlets reported a murder-suicide that left three soldiers dead of gunshot wounds. It also came after reports of a police officer’s arrest for soliciting a large bribe, and a botched abduction attempt blamed on soldiers.

The MCNS comes under the defense ministry, and handles the public affairs function for the military and police.

Contacted by Reuters, Hulugalle denied there were any restrictions on what could be reported.

“But we want to know what’s going to be disseminated before it is being disseminated,” he said.

The new directive is the latest control imposed on news and information websites. The government is increasingly intolerant of criticism, and Sri Lanka has in recent years headed further down lists measuring international press freedom rankings.

“This is the first step in going for wider censorship,” said Sunil Jayasekara, the head of Sri Lanka’s Free Media Movement.

In November, the government required news websites to register with the Media Ministry, a month after it blocked some sites critical of the government.

The Indian Ocean island nation’s government first blocked some websites linked to the Tamil Tiger separatists during the final phase of a 25-year civil war, arguing the ban was acceptable in a time of war, but the bans have grown since the end of the war in 2009.

(Writing by Bryson Hull; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)

By  Reuters

A Silenced Media

Frederica Jansz

Last week a story on the front page of a daily English newspaper caught my eye.  Not for its content but for the sheer absurdity of such a story having made headlines on the front page of a newspaper.
This was the story: Manioc stolen from Horogolla. The article went on to say that some 475 kilograms of manioc cultivated by Sunethra Bandaranaike had been stolen from the Bandaranaike walauwwa.
Never mind that people continue to get abducted almost every week –  post war, the fact that the Bandaranaikes’ lost manioc from their walauwwa makes front page news.
Even after the fighting has  stopped the media situation in Sri Lanka remains precarious. The government, last year, banned 45 news websites
The government slogan during the war,  “either you are with us or against us”, had been transcended and transferred to the local press who wary of any backlash have instead decided to play – safe. Very safe.
Journalists looking into even the more mundane stories – post war – investigating government corruption or wrongdoing find themselves in dangerous territory.  Journalists are in danger.  Journalism is at risk.
Journalists are still being targeted.  Prageeth Eknaligoda remains missing.  Then in July last year Uthayan news editor Gnasundaram Kuganathan was targeted.  He was subjected to a brutal attack. His perpetrators are yet to be found.
The war and its aftermath are still treacherous subjects to write on.   Journalists speaking on them continue to hide their voices and their identity.  There is a very high degree of self censorship being practiced and still a culture of fear that pervades the print media – preventing it from going into issues that may bring them harm.  That leaves such reporting to foreign news outlets.
Britain’s Channel 4 has been prominent with its coverage on Sri Lankan soldiers allegedly conducting atrocities on Tamil prisoners of war. The coverage has blown government rhetoric that what happened in the north was a clean humanitarian operation. The exposures have had an impact and as a result the West has been accused of being “jealous” of the Sri Lankan government.
For two years since the war ended the internet provided a platform – to a handful of Sri Lankan critics of the war. Through various means the government has been able to control the local media.  On the one hand the government controls its domestic news agenda through its allies while on the other independent senior editors and staff are given financial and political benefits to achieve the same goal by other means.
The general public is reluctant to speak about the travails that affect the media. Or they simply do not care.  Or care enough.
A government having won a civil war in the North is currently in control of its media.  There is a cultural impunity which is damaging Sri Lankan society and as a  consequence damaging the Sri Lankan media.
There are huge issues currently dominating Sri Lanka – yet the media in toto remains silent.  Sri Lanka’s media coerced into silence cannot unite to speak out on issues such as killings and abductions.  Last year, a list was tabled on the killings, attacks and abductions in Jaffna.
A 30-year-old male from Jaffna was found beaten and hanged to death at a playground in Achchuveli Thoappu in Valikaamam East, 20 km northeast of Jaffna city. The victim had been harassed by the Sri Lanka Army intelligence operatives 2 years ago, residents in the area said. So far no suspects have been taken into custody.
Why does the media continue to be silent on the attack on TNA MPs at a local government election meeting?
On June 16, 2011 armed army personnel in full uniform attacked a meeting of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in Alaveddy, relating to the upcoming local authority elections at which 5 TNA MPs were present. This was an internal party meeting that did not require police permission. Several MSD personnel of the MPs were also assaulted. Major General Walgama, who initially met the MPs soon after the incident, requested that the MPs refrain from lodging a complaint with the police, and further, that they ensure that the incident was not reported through the media. The MPs, however, did not agree to this and proceeded to make statements to the Police.
The incident also was reported to both Jaffna Security Forces Commander Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe and the President. Major General Hathurusinghe initially issued a statement that this was a minor incident involving the army and the MSD personnel, but later claimed that he had been misquoted and assured the TNA MPs that if this was done by the army, he would take stern disciplinary action.
On June 20, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa confirmed in an interview to the Island newspaper, that in fact the army had stopped the meeting. No action has been taken thus far.
Every activity that takes place in the North and East first requires approval by the Presidential Task Force and the military.
Why does the media not collectively question this?
M. A. Sumanthiran TNA MP has reiterated that lists of beneficiaries for identified projects in the north  have to be sent to the military. Incidents have been reported of the military altering these to include individuals they prefer for such assistance.

Several families are unable to return to their homes due to the official and unofficial High Security Zone (HSZ) restrictions in areas in the North and East. Large areas of land have been taken by the military for camps and ad hoc HSZs in Thirumurigandi, Shanthapuram and Indupuram, covering the districts of Mullativu and Killinochchi. These HSZs also prevent/severely restrict, access to an unfettered livelihood.
Churches and private property are being occupied by the military in Jaffna, Mannar, and Mullaitivu.
Regular checking by the military takes place in many areas in the Jaffna, Killinochchi and Mullativu districts. Are not these issues for the local media to highlight consistently ? Are these not what make front page news and NOT the fact that the Bandaranaike waluwwa lost 475 kilograms of manioc?
Most advertisements/signboards on the A9 road from Omanthai to Jaffna are in Sinhala. 28 Buddhist statues were brought into the Palaly High Security Zone. Not news?
A significant number of Buddhist stupas/temples have come up on the A9 road, Paranthan, Kilinochchi, near the 561 division, next to Iranamadu tank, etc., What is wrong with us? Can we not see that we are trampling – stomping on the dignity of Tamils – post war? Why are we silent? Are we not supposed to be the watchdogs of this nation?
Sumanthiran maintains that Sinhalese fishermen are occupying padus belonging to Tamil fishermen in Vadamaarachchi East, thus denying them access to it.
Tiles and door frames of houses belonging to those who have been resettled in Vadamaarachchi East after the conflict, have been taken and used in Navy camps. So it is alleged.
The navy is occupying lands in Mullikulam, Vidathaltivu, Silavathurai, and Sannar, preventing people from resettling there. Approximately 200 families are affected due to this in Mullikulam alone. 3524 Acres of land has been taken for the Army camp at Sannar.
The other places where the Army has taken over land are, Paapamoddai, Parappukkadanthan, Nindavil, Kalliyadi, Savarikulam and Kovilkulam.
Similarly, the Police has taken over lands in Iluppaikkadavai, Adampa, Vidathaltivu, Paapamoddai, Vellikulam and Paaliyaru
Why do we, the press remain silent on these issues?  Has Mahinda Rajapaksa been this successful in beating the media into submission? Clearly, the answer is a softly whispered – Yes.
Name boards with new Sinhala names have been fixed in several streets in Kilinochchi. When travelling from Jeyapuram to Pallavaraayankattu, near the Jayapuram junction, there are 2 streets named ‘Mahinda Rajapakse Mawatha’ and ‘Aluth Mawatha’.
These are only 2 examples of several such name boards. Police posts are situated near these boards to ensure they are protected. These boards are situated in the back streets of Kilinochchi to prevent the media from being alerted to this trend.
Buddhist symbols were buried in the area in which the Kilinochchi market used to be. Claims are now being made that they are archeological finds from over 2000 years .
There have been several attempts to both create various ‘societies’ and to stage Sinhala cultural events in the area.
The military is in occupation of several areas in Pooneryn. This includes the Pooneryn hospital. Why is this not an issue for the press?
Are these not matters of national importance that should dominate the pages of our newspapers, and radio and television broadcasts? Is the label of ‘traitor’ too terrifying to be called to take on these issues that we as the media are only duty bound to do so? What of the issue of land grabs? Not only is it rampant in the North and East – namely places like – Batticaloa, Sampur, Vavunathivu, Chenkalady and Vaharai where  almost 1050 acres of land belonging to the Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation is being utilized for the purpose of establishing a naval base, but it is happening right here in Colombo too. Right under our noses. If only we care to look . For example 680 perches of prime land at Bauddhaloka Mawatha has been allocated to the Russian Embassy to build a new complex in a mafia style case where the land has clearly been forcefully taken from its rightful owners. Read more on that story, as well as another land grab in the Kotte Municipality, in these pages next week.
We need to focus more on the economy. Elsewhere on these pages today we carry an article which highlights a multi billion rupee borrowing – nearly 400 billion rupees of it already spent – a part of loans obtained from the Chinese state-owned Export-Import bank.
Sri Lanka has come at a dismal 163rd  in the Press Freedom Index 2011/2012. It has dropped from its previous position at 158 in 2010.
In a nutshell this is what it means. The latest world press freedom index contains sombre realities and confirms certain trends.  Unlike  before, it is clear that in Sri Lanka economic development, institutional reform and respect for fundamental rights do not necessarily go hand in hand. The defence of media freedom is at stake with a dormant and pliant media refusing to do battle.
That is President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s biggest triumph next to winning the civil war. He has beaten to the ground the local press who will no longer voice the oppression and injustices that continue to take place in this island nation.

By – SL

Against Media Suppression – ”BLACK January”