Sri Lanka steps up threats on journalists and NGO activists

[TamilNet, Saturday, 24 March 2012, 07:46 GMT]
In the wake of two powerful documentaries that have been released this year, ‘Silenced Voices’ by Norwegian film-maker Beate Arnestad, and Channel 4’s ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields : War Crimes Unpunished’, and a resolution voted demanding domestic action by Sri Lanka, Colombo's media has increased threats against journalists and activists both in its territory and abroad as well. In a recent wave of smear campaigns, the state-owned Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited, better known as Lake House, and the state run Independent Television Network have targeted journalists, branding them as ‘terrorists’ and ‘traitors’. “Lake House, which controls many newspapers and TV stations, is using accusations of terrorism, separatism and collaborating with the LTTE as a weapon to undermine those who defend freedom of information and media freedom,” a release of Reporters without Borders said.

Among others, these targets include Bashana Abeywardane of the JDS, Dharmasiri Lankapeli of the Federation of Media Employees Trade Unions and Sunanda Deshapriya, a journalist and media freedom activist.

Bashana Abeywardane prominently featured in Ms. Arnestad’s documentary and in a minor segment in Channel 4’s latest release.

Likewise, Minister of Public Relations, Mervyn Silva has promised publicly in Kiribathgoda on Friday to break the limbs of journalists and NGO activists who had given evidence on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC, accusing them of being traitors.

“Ironically, these hate campaigns have come at a time when UN experts on human rights defenders are calling on governments to take steps to facilitate, rather than deter, civil society's safe and unimpeded access to the UN,” a joint statement by activists and journalists dated 21st March, forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission, said.

“We observe that such malicious attacks are carefully orchestrated by the authorities with the clear objective of deviating attention elsewhere when the human rights record of the government is being challenged nationally and internationally,” the statement further added.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Navi Pillay also warned on Friday that there should be no reprisals on activists after the adoption of the pro-LLRC US resolution at UNHRC.


Chronology:


Related Articles:
11.02.12   War crimes of ‘both sides’ or war crimes of all sides: Oslo ..
24.01.12   Award winning filmmaker presents documentary on exiled Sinha..
29.10.03   ‘Proud to shed blood to protect Tamils’
29.10.03   Mobs attack Sinhala-Tamil Cultural Festival in Colombo


External Links:
RSF: Government-orchestrated threats against exile journalists

 

Latest 15 Reports
17.05.21 19:23   Photo
Ananthi blames war criminal Silva for blocking collective memorial at Mu'l'livaaykkaal
23.03.21 12:41   Photo
No focus on Tamil genocide, geopolitics gets played out in Geneva in favour of QUAD formation
21.03.21 13:34   Photo
Navi Pillay explains ‘human rights’ limitations in Geneva on Tamil genocide
15.03.21 20:36   Photo
Deceived Tamil activists in UK falsely claimed ‘substantial changes’ to Zero draft
09.03.21 21:34   Photo
UK repeatedly wronged Tamils says hunger-striker, demands genocide justice
26.02.21 11:53   Photo
Tamils witness false dilemma in Geneva as geopolitical formations pit against each other
19.02.21 14:02   Photo
UK not prepared to push for ICC option in new UNHRC Resolution
07.02.21 23:16   Photo
Unprecedented P2P uprising paves the way for rights-oriented politics of Tamils and Muslims
22.01.21 08:01   Photo
Gotabaya sets up deceptive COI citing ‘sovereignty’ and ‘non-aligned’ foreign policy
18.01.21 23:44   Photo
Tamil activists resisted three sources of outside influence while drafting demands to UNHRC
16.01.21 11:03  
Tamil national parties demand UN to inquire into crime of genocide and set up IIIM
09.01.21 09:37   Photo
Demolition of Tamil genocide monument, fourth emblematic trauma since 1974: Rev Fr Sakthivel
08.01.21 23:51   Photo
Colombo destroys Mu'l'livaaykkaal memorial monument at Jaffna University
07.01.21 11:22   Photo
With emphasis on genocide, Suresh calls for ICC-referral, IIIM and referendum
07.01.21 00:04   Photo
Boyle prefers IIIM demand over ICC-referral, says specific reference to genocide essential
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=35032