Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
SL Government Does Not Respect Freedom of Speech - US

SL Government Does Not Respect Freedom of Speech - US

Ratings: (0)|Views: 166|Likes:
Published by Thavam

More info:

Published by: Thavam on Mar 01, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as ODT, PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





The US report on Human Rights for 2013 has stated that the Sri Lankan government has failed to respect the law that provides for freedom of speechThe report has also referred to the !reedom House report on !reedom of the "ress 2013 where it has said there is #an increase in ver$al threats and intimidation against %ournalists $& government officials' as well as the sale of the Sunda& Leader' formerl& one of the island(s most independent newspapers' to an owner with close affiliation to the ruling  part&)!ollowing is what the US report o$served under !reedom of Speech and "ress*The law provides for freedom of speech' including for mem$ers of the press' $ut the government did not respect this right +overnment officials critici,ed' pressured' harassed' and arrested mem$ers of the media' and most %ournalists practiced self-censorship!reedom of Speech* The constitution protects the right to free speech This right' however' is su$%ect to a host of restrictions' including pu$lic moralit& and national securit& The government attempted to impede criticism throughout the &ear' including through harassment' intimidation' violence' and imprisonment The government monitored political meetings'  particularl& in the north and east There also were credi$le reports that civilian and militar& officials .uestioned local residents and groups who met with foreign diplomats regarding the content of their meetings"ress !reedoms* /n its !reedom of the "ress 2013 report' !reedom House noted serious  pro$lems regarding the countr&(s economic' political' and legal environments for media institutions The report attri$uted the decline in press freedom from the previous &ear to #an increase in ver$al threats and intimidation against %ournalists $& government officials' as well as the sale of the Sunda& Leader' formerl& one of the island(s most independent newspapers' to an owner with close affiliation to the ruling part&) 
!rida&' 2 !e$ruar& 201
n une 14' the 5inistr& of 5ass 6ommunication and 5edia pu$lished a draft code of ethics for media stating that #no pu$lications should $e pu$lished) that contained #criticism affecting foreign relations) or #materials against the integrit& of the e7ecutive' %udiciar&' and legislature) /f implemented the code also would $an #information which could mislead the pu$lic') that might #promote antinational attitudes') or that #critici,es' maligns' or slanders an& individual or group of persons)The government owned one of the countr&(s largest newspaper chains' two ma%or television stations' and a radio station with eight channels "rivate owners' however' operated a variet& of independent newspapers' %ournals' and radio and television stations The government imposed no political restrictions on the esta$lishment of new media enterprises' although in 8ecem$er the government announced that no licenses would $e granted for new television or radio stations due to a lack of availa$le fre.uencies /n the north' the government restricted $roadcast transmissions /n 2012 the government $uilt a new tower in the 9anni region $ut during the &ear selectivel& $locked one private station from using the tower9iolence and Harassment* :ational and international media freedom organi,ations and  %ournalists( associations e7pressed concern a$out restrictions on media freedom and were sharpl& critical of the government(s role in harassing and intimidating %ournalists State-run media led a widespread campaign against human rights defenders' particularl& those engaged with U: processes' including the 2012 and 2013 U: Human Rights 6ouncil sessions in +eneva "ress freedom activists and organi,ations' human rights defenders' and political activists were accused in the media of conspiring against the countr& $& calling attention to ongoing violations of human rights +overnment officials dispersed and interfered with mem$ership training sessions held $& media groupsSenior government officials repeatedl& accused %ournalists' who pu$lished critical stories a$out the government and its policies' of treason and often pressured editors and pu$lishers to print stories that portra&ed the government in a positive light Sometimes the government reportedl& e7erted such pressure directl& through threats and intimidation;lthough no %ournalist was reported killed or a$ducted during the &ear' fre.uent threats' harassment' detention' and ph&sical attacks on media personnel continued ournalists continued to flee the countr& due to fear for their safet& Statements $& government and militar& officials contri$uted to an environment in which %ournalists who pu$lished articles critical of the government felt threatened n 5a& <' 5inister of Traditional /ndustries and Small =nterprise 8evelopment 8ouglas 8evananda spoke to media personnel regarding the  :orthern "rovincial 6ouncil elections and resettlement in affna(s HS>s and told the assem$led  %ournalists that if the& misinterpreted what he said' he had the power to #crush the necks) of the media and take legal action against their organi,ations;ttacks on the Tamil dail& newspaper Utha&an' which $egan in what appeared to $e concerted fashion in :ovem$er 2012' continued throughout the &ear /n :ovem$er 2012 Utha&an editor T 5ano "remanath was assaulted while tr&ing to record a militar& incursion onto the grounds of affna Universit& The assailants were allegedl& plainclothes arm& soldiers The newspaper(s
managing director and Tamil :ational ;lliance 5" = Saravanapavan(s vehicle(s windows were also smashed with cinder $locks while he was meeting with affna Universit& students There were reports that plainclothes militar& officers damaged his car in full view of the militar& and policen anuar& 10' unidentified men on motor$ikes attacked Utha&an distri$utor :ageswaran "iratheepan in affna ;fter $eating him with poles and $reaking his arm' the assailants set fire to "iratheepan(s motor$ike and newspapers n anuar& 1?' alleged arm& intelligence  personnel threw oil on %ournalists from Utha&an as well as the Tamil newspapers Thinakkural and 9alampuri' who were reporting on the 5ovement for =.ual Rights protest of militari,ation in the north and east and to demand the release of affna Universit& students arrested in  :ovem$er 2012 n anuar& 1' the 6/8 summoned Utha&an editor "remananth Thevana&agam for .uestioning a$out an article implicating senior arm& officers in human rights a$uses n !e$ruar& 4' two unidentified men chased an Utha&an deliver& emplo&ee in affna' $ut he escaped without $eing attacked n !e$ruar& 1?' an arm& officer destro&ed the camera of an online Utha&an %ournalist covering a hunger strike $& the residents of 9alikamam in front of the 8urghaiamman temple The officer took the camera when the %ournalist filmed alleged militar& intelligence personnel distur$ing the hunger strikers with the help of ruling  part& political leaders n 5arch 20' a senior militar& officer in civilian clothing threatened an Utha&an staff reporter with $odil& harm for his coverage of a progovernment protest against the U: Human Rights 6ouncil proceedings in +eneva n ;pril 3' seven masked men attacked Utha&an(s @ilinochchi $ranch office in the earl& morning while newspaper $undles were $eing unloaded from a deliver& vehicle The seven men assaulted the staff' including manager ;rumugam "onra%ah' @itinan "iratheepan' @uppusam& 9isvanathan' and 9 Sukirthan' who were admitted to the @ilinochchi hospital' and destro&ed the office(s computers and  photocopier n ;pril 13' three helmeted gunmen entered Utha&an(s main office in affna in the earl& morning and damaged the newspaper(s principal printing machine' rendering it unusa$le The& $urned all the newspapers in the office n ul& 10' three assailants in a three-wheeler knocked Utha&an reporter +unalan 8ileepamuthan off his motor$ike while on his wa& home from the office in Thellipalai The unidentified attackers departed when a third vehicle approached the scene ; week later affna police reported the incident as an #accident) :o further police action occurredThere remained no legal progress regarding the 2011 attack on Utha&an news editor +nanasundaram @uhanathan There was also no progress in the 2011 fire$om$ing of the  premises of pro-opposition news we$site Lanka-e-newsn ;ugust 2' a group of assailants held Sunda& Leader associate editor 5andana ;$e&wickrema hostage at knifepoint for two hours while the& rummaged through her home office ;fter initial investigations' police claimed that the attack was a #common $urglar&) attempt 8a&s later the thieves targeted her house again' this time searching her computer files ;$e&wickrema fled the countr& after the attack and was fired from her %o$ as a result of her a$sence /n 2012 progrovernment owners $ought the Sunda& Leader' once a press freedom stalwart That &ear former Sunda& Leader editor !rederica ans, left the countr&' following intimidation that included a ul& 2012 threat over the telephone from Secretar& of 8efense

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->