Colombo censure spreads to private websites

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 21 October 2009, 03:32 GMT]
The Information Department of the Government of Sri Lanka is to blacklist and carry out round-the- clock monitoring of private websites that are "known to spread anti-government propaganda and feed incorrect information." "Counter propaganda will be launched by the government to safeguard the present environment of peace and prevent unrest among the public,” said Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeyawardene at a press briefing held Tuesday. Meanwhile, Paris-based media watchdog, Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF), ranked Sri Lanka at 162, fourteenth from the bottom of a 175-nation list, and relegated Sri Lanka to reside with the world's worst press rights offender nations.

“When browsing through some of these websites we wonder whether there is an insidious attempt to create a rift between President Mahinda Rajapakse and the military leaders," Yapa said.

"There has been a sharp increase in fabricated or misleading propaganda which has been a hindrance to maintaining peace and stability in Sri Lanka The screening of the news reports and feature articles would be carried out by a committee especially selected by the Information Department,” Minister Yapa said.

Minister Yapa said that the mainstream newspapers and TV channels have acted with responsibility, but a section of the electronic and print media that have "behaved in an irresponsible manner."

“Through newspaper advertisements we will correct misinformation and give the government’s take on those issues while exposing websites that publish such misinformation,” Minister Yapa said. .


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External Links:
RSF: Press Freedom Index 2009
SLGov: Irresponsible web sites to be black listed - Media Minister

 

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