RSF condemns Colombo for blocking access to TamilNet

[TamilNet, Thursday, 21 June 2007, 02:34 GMT]
Reporters without borders (RSF), a media rights watchdog condemned the Sri Lanka Government for its censorship of TamilNet noting that the past 10 years of its "coverage of Sri Lanka's civil war has proved essential," and demanded that "the government must put a stop to this censorship and restore access to the site at once," in a press release issued Wednesday.

The full text of the press release follows:

Government censors Tamilnet by blocking access to website

Reporters Without Borders today condemned government censorship of the English-language news website Tamilnet. Sri Lanka's Internet Service Providers have been blocking access to the website on the government's orders since 15 June.

"Tamilnet is a source of news and information that is known throughout the world and for the past 10 years its coverage of Sri Lanka's civil war has proved essential," the press freedom organisation said. "The government must put a stop to this censorship and restore access to the site at once."

The blockage came just days after the 10th anniversary of Tamilnet's creation on 7 June, and coincided with the arrival of a delegation of international press freedom organisations, including Reporters Without Borders, to look into the sharp decline in media freedom in Sri Lanka.

Created in London by members of the Tamil expatriate community, Tamilnet devotes much of its efforts covering the civil war between the Liberation Tiger of Tamil Eelam separatists (LTTE) and paramilitaries. The site has often been accused of supporting Tamil nationalists.

Its editor, Sivaram Dharmaratnam, was murdered on 28 April 2005.


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