BBC correspondent blocked from attending Jaffna Festival
[TamilNet, Saturday, 26 March 2011, 03:47 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Ministry of Defense has refused permission to BBC Colombo correspondent Charles Haviland from attending cultural festival in Jaffna, sources in Colombo said. The "Jaffna Music Festival” organized to celebrate the diverse traditional folk arts for three days from 25th – 27th March 2011, is being organized by the Norwegian Embassy, USAID and implemented by Sevalanka Foundation, according to reports from Jaffna.
The reason for the refusal was not communicated to the BBC correspondent, according to reports.
Colombo has routinely blocked foreign journalists, mainly BBC reporters from covering events in the North East.
Political observers speculate that Sri Lanka Government is irked by what it considers to be adverse reporting by foreign correspondents, and limiting access to NorthEast is an attempt to bring the foreign journalists in-line with the local media which largely exercises self-censorship.