Monthly Archives: November 2012

Sri Lanka: State security forces obstruct peaceful assembly in Jaffna ; students and journalists assaulted and arrested

 

Press release/ 31 Nov 2012

  NfR Sri Lanka, a net work of journalists and human rights defenders, dismayed and shocked that once again the Government of Sri Lanka has unleashed state terror on students and journalists in Jaffna in flagrant violation of peoples right to peaceful assembly, an universal right enjoyed by people in the democratic world. This is an assault on freedom of expression rights as well.

 This brutal assault took place on 27th Nov 2012 in Jaffna when University students led remembrance was being held. Number of students was injured as a result, editor of the Jaffna based best selling news paper Uthayan was manhandled by the military and photographers were forced to delete the pictures of military and police brutality. Among the journalists assaulted are staff of another Jaffna based newspaper, Valampuri and students of the journalism training centre, Jaffna. Continue reading

Sri Lanka: Open and blatant violation of media independence by the President himself

Press release/ 29 Nov 2012/

NfR is shocked and dismayed to hear that the chairperson of the state controlled TV station, the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLRC) has been appointed as the official media spokesperson of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The Official web site of the GoSL carried a news item confirming the appointment; ‘Mohan Samaranayake has been appointed as the new Media Spokesman to the President in addition to his post as the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation.’ the President’s Media Division (PMD) said.

This is an act heard of even in countries where an open dictatorship prevails. Such despotic rulers at least try to give a semblance of respect for the rights of the people to the freedom of expression as a tactic to deceive their subjects. Continue reading

Impeachment motion: Attempt to wrest complete control and consolidate all power within the family

Press release/ 07 Nov 2012

 Networking for Rights, a net work of journalists and human rights defenders  considers the Sri Lanka governments move to impeach Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, as a flagrant expression of political interference in the judicial system and a  final step towards destroying the flicker of democracy that still remains in the country.

  This is not an issue about an individual but rather about the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary.

 If the Chief Justice must be impeached, then her errors and omissions should be investigated through a well defined process. There must be public debate before the government rushes to impeach her; simply because the Executive is displeased with the manner she interprets the law. Continue reading