2nd lead (Adds: Gazette Notification)

Sri Lanka imposes censorship

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 31 October 2007, 14:01 GMT]
The Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) has decided to impose censorship on the press under the Public Security Ordinance on news reporting related to military confrontations and offensive operations, informed officials in Colombo said. The clamp down on the press comes in the wake of the recent Tiger military operation on Anuradhapura airbase and increased guerilla attacks in southern Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka's President Rajapakse "used tough emergency laws to ban the publication of any information on military operations as well as procurements," according to a gazette notification, AFP reported.

Following is the full text of the Gazette Notification:

The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (Published by Authority)

PART I : SECTION (I) — GENERAL

Government Notifications

EXTRAORDINARY

CF 1/64.

THE PUBLIC SECURITY ORDINANCE (CHAPTER 40)

REGULATIONS made by the President under Section 5 of the Public Security Ordinance (Chapter 40).

MAHINDA RAJAPAKSA, President. Colombo, 29th October, 2007.

Regulations 1. These Regulations may be cited as the Emergency (Prohibition on Publication and Transmission of Sensitive Military Information) Regulations No. 6 of 2007.

2. The President may for the purpose of these regulations, appoint by name or office, any person or body of persons to be the Competent Authority.

3. No Editor or Publisher of a Newspaper or any other publication or any person who manages or operates a Broadcasting Station or a Television Station, shall print, publish, distribute or transmit whether by means of electronic devices or otherwise, or cause to be printed, published, distributed or transmitted whether by electronic means or otherwise, any material containing any matter which pertains to any proposed operations or military activity to be carried out by the Armed Forces or the Police Force (including the Special Task Force) or the deployment of troops or personnel, the availability or use of arms, ammunition or other equipment, including aircraft or naval vessels, by the Armed Forces or the Police Force (including the Special Task Force) and the proposed acquisition of arms, ammunition or other equipment, including aircraft or naval vessels by the Armed Forces or the Police Force (including the Special Task Force) which pertains to any operation or other military activity to be carried out by the Armed Forces or the Police Force (including the Special Task Force), for the purpose of maintaining or protecting national security, territorial integrity and the sovereignty of Sri Lanka.

4. Where any person prints, publishes, distributes or transmits, or causes to be printed, published, distributed or transmitted, whether by electronic means or otherwise, any matter in contravention of the provisions of regulation 3, the Competent Authority may, after issuing such directions as he considers necessary to effect compliance with the provisions of such regulation, make order that the press or equipment used for such printing, publication distribution or transmission shall for such period as is specified in that order not be used for such printing, publication, distribution or transmission of any matter referred to in regulation 3 and the Competent Authority may by the same order authorize any person specified therein to take such steps as appears to the person so authorized to be necessary for preventing the printing, publication, distribution or transmission of any such material.

5. (1) Any person who prints, publishes, distributes or transmits any material in contravention of the provisions of regulation 3 shall be guilty of an offence shall on conviction after trial before the High Court without a jury or before a Magistrate, be liable to rigorous imprisonment for a term not less than three months and not exceeding five years and to a fine of not less than five hundred rupees and not exceeding five thousand rupees.

(2) Section 306 (2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, No. 15 of 1979, shall not apply to any person found guilty of an offence under these Regulations.

11-498 PRINTED AT THE DEPARTMENT OF GOVERNMENT PRINTING, SRI LANKA.


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