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சிவராம் ஞாபகார்த்த மன்றம் வன்மையாகக் கண்டிக்கிறது

யாழ்ப்பாணத்தில் ஊடகவியலாளர் செ. கவிதரன் தாக்கப்பட்டுள்ளார். இத் தாக்குதலை சுவிஸ் சிவராம் ஞாபகார்த்த மன்றம் வன்மையாகக் கண்டிக்கிறது. வழக்கம் போன்றே இனந்தெரியாதோரின் தாக்குதலுக்கு இலக்கானார் என்ற விளக்கத்துடன் இந்தச் சம்பவமும் மூடி மறைக்கப்பட்டுவிடும் என்பதை ஊகிப்பது கடினமில்லை. ‘யுத்தம் முடிவடைந்து அமைதி நிலைநாட்டப்பட்டு விட்டது’ என அரசாங்கம் பிரகடனப்படுத்தி இரண்டு ஆண்டுகள் கடந்துவிட்ட நிலையிலும் ஊடகவியலாளர்கள் மீதான தாக்குதல்கள் முடிவடைந்து விடவில்லை என்பதை இச் சம்பவம் மீண்டுமொருமுறை நினைவுபடுத்தி நிற்கின்றது.

அரசாங்கத்தின் நேரடி உத்தரவின் பேரிலோ அன்றி அதன் கைக்கூலிகளாலேயோ இத்தகைய தொடர்ச்சியான தாக்குதல்கள் ஊடகவியலாளர்கள் மீது நிகழ்த்;தப்பட்டு வரும் நிலையில் அதே அரசாங்கத்திடமே ஊடகவியலாளர்களைப் பாதுகாக்குமாறோ, தாக்குதலாளிகளை சட்டத்தின் முன் நிறுத்துமாறோ கோருவது நகைப்புக்கிடமானது. கடந்த காலங்களில் இதுபோன்ற பல தாக்குதல்களில் நூற்றுக் கணக்கான ஊடகவியலாளர்களும் ஊடகப் பணியாளர்களும் இலங்கைத் தீவு முழுவதிலும் தாக்குதல்களுக்கு இலக்காகியுள்ள போதிலும் இதுவரையில் ஒருவர் கூட கைது செய்யப்படவோ சட்டத்தின் முன் நிறுத்தப்படவோ இல்லை. யுத்தத்தில் நேரடியாகச் சம்பந்தப்பட்டிராத 35 க்கும் மேற்பட்ட ஊடகவியலாளர்களும் ஊடகப் பணியாளர்களும்; இதுவரை படுகொலை செய்யப் பட்டுள்ளார்கள். பலர் கடத்தப்பட்டுக் காணமாற் போயுள்ளனர். பல ஊடக நிறுவனங்கள் தாக்குதலுக்கு இலக்காகியுள்ளன.

இத்தகைய ஒவ்வொரு சந்தர்ப்பத்திலும் ஆட்சியாளர்கள் மீதே குற்றஞ் சாட்டப்பட்டு வந்துள்ளமையை மறைப்பதற்கில்லை. இலங்கையில் ஊடகவியலாளர்களின் பாதுகாப்பை உறுதிப் படுத்துவதில் அரசாங்கம் அக்கறையின்றிச் செயற்பட்டு வருகின்றமையை இது உறுதி செய்கின்றது. இந்நிலையில், சர்வதேச ஊடக அமைப்புக்களும் உள்நாட்டில உள்ள குடிசார்; அமைப்புக்களுமே ஊடகவியலாளர்களின் பாதுகாப்பை உறுதிப்படுத்த முன்வரவேண்டியது அவசியமாகின்றது.

ஒரு ஜனநாயக சமூகத்தில் ஊடகவிலாளர்களின் பங்களிப்பு முக்கியமானது. ஊடகவியலாளர்கள் தமது சமூகப் பொறுப்பை உணர்ந்து அர்ப்பணிப்புடன் பணியாற்றும் போதே குறித்த சமூகம் ஆரோக்கியமான கலந்துரையாடல்கள் நிகழும் வளமான சமூகமாகப் பரிணமிக்கும். ஆரோக்கியமான சமூகத்தைக் கனவு காணும் ஒவ்வொருவரும் ஊடக சுதந்திரத்தையும் ஊடகவியலாளர்களையும் காப்பாற்ற முன்வரவேண்டும். பல்லின சமூகங்கள் வாழும் இலங்கை போன்ற நாடுகளில் இதன் தேவை ஏனைய நாடுகளை விட அதிகம் என்பதை அனைவரும் புரிந்து கொண்டு செயற்பட வேண்டும் என சிவராம் ஞாபகார்த்த மன்றம் கேட்டுக் கொள்கின்றது.

Sunanda Deshapriya

In just  4 days more, we will commemorate  the 6th death anniversary of  Darmarathnam Sivaram, who was  abducted and killed in Colombo on 28th April 2005.

Sunanda Deshapriya

In just 4 days more, we will commemorate the 6th death anniversary of Darmarathnam Sivaram, who was abducted and killed in Colombo on 28th April 2005.

Known as Siva among his friends and as Taraki in the media field, Sivaram was one of the best analytical minds in Sri Lankan journalism. He was an organic intellectual, with an enviable knowledge of politics and war. The foot prints left by Sivaram in Sri Lankan journalism has outlived his life, and will remain with us for a long time to come. His writings will remain as part of the history of the Sri Lanka Tamil peoples struggle for self rule. Sivaram’s writings are fitting proof for the dictum that ‘journalists write the first draft of the history.’ Continue Reading »

RSF
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Reporters Without Borders calls on the Sri Lankan authorities to immediately release LankaeNews editor Benette Rupasinghe, who was today arrested by the Colombo police for allegedly threatening another man. Aged 68 and a diabetes sufferer, Rupasinghe is currently being held in the infirmary of Colombo prison.

The press freedom organization condemns the way the government is hounding Rupasinghe and the other journalists who work for this Colombo-based opposition news website. The methods it is using to silence opposition journalists are outrageous and unacceptable.

Rupasinghe was arrested when he went to Colombo police headquarters today in response to a summons to make a statement. The police arrested him without taking him before a court. His lawyers tried without success to obtain his release on bail.

It seems he will now remain in detention until 7 April, pending the completion of the police investigation into the clearly premeditated arson attack on the LankaeNews office on 31 January. According to LankaeNews, the police have accused him of threatening the brother of a suspect in the arson attack.

Since the website’s creation in 2005, its staff have been the target of intimidation, threats, smear campaigns and abduction.

Rupasinghe’s arrest marks an escalation in the government’s campaign of harassment. Reporters Without Borders urges the international community and human rights and press freedom organizations to do everything possible to help get Rupasinghe released.

Asia-Pacific Desk , Reporters Without Borders , Paris – France , 33 1 44 83 84 70 , http://en.rsf.org/asia,2.html

RSF
Reporters Without Borders reiterates its support for LankaeNews, a Colombo-based online newspaper that has made a major contribution to media pluralism and independently reported news and information in Sri Lanka, and for its journalists, who are unable to work normally because of the many threats and attacks against them.

Their safety is no longer assured as a result of all the harassment and intimidation that is detailed in a report that three media freedom and human rights organizations – Free Media Movement, Inform Human Rights Documentation Centre and Law & Society Trust – released on 24 March.

Reporters Without Borders has decided to relay the report’s appeal to international organizations for help in finding the means to guarantee the physical safety of LankaeNews’ journalists.

Launched in 2005, the website incurred the government’s wrath just over a year ago when it supported Gen. Sarath Fonseka, the leading challenger to President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the January 2010 presidential election. The site’s cartoonist, Prageeth Ekneligoda, disappeared on 24 January 2010 and is still missing. More than a year has gone by and his family is still without any news of him.

LankaeNews editor Sandaruwan Senadheera fled to Britain in March 2010 after receiving death threats. Then an arson attack destroyed the website’s premises in Colombo on 31 January of this year.

Entitled “Call for urgent interventions to ensure security of LankaeNews,” the report also highlights the irregularities in the investigation into the January arson attack and the newspaper Dinamina’s smear campaign against the website. Dinamina claimed that, when the police examined its offices after the fire, they found porn films, alcohol and used condoms.

The investigation into the arson attack has not been conducted in a serious manner and has produced no hard evidence. The case is due to come before a court on 20 April.

Reporters Without Borders believes that it is vital for justice to be done in a country where journalists are often the victims of violence. The impunity must stop.

Sri Lanka is ranked 158th out of 178 countries in the latest Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

Asia-Pacific Desk – Reporters Without Borders – Paris , France – +33 1 44 83 84 70 – http://en.rsf.org/asia,2.html

NfR – Net working for rights in Sri lanka

Exile network for media and human rights in Sri Lanka

Press release/ 10 February 2011

Sri Lanka: "Vaara Uraikal" Editor assaulted

For a third time in less than two years, the "Vaara Ureikal", the only provincial newspaper in the Eastern region has come under attack. In the latest instance,on February 8, 2011 the Editor of the newspaper, M.I Rahumathulla has had chilly powder thrown at his face and has been assaulted with iron rods.

Networking for Rights views this assualt, yet another attempt to silence the media, as a violation of human rights and strongly condemns the attack.

This newspaper which has been fighting corruption in the Muslim dominated Kathankudi and Batticaloa areas has been subjected to many threats over the years. Unidenfied men, armed with swords and clubs broke into the newspaper office which is located at Mr. Rahumathulla’s residence on April 1, 2009 and assaulted him severly. Though a complaint was made to the Kathankudi police, no arrests have been made as of today. On September 13, 2010, the newspaper was attacked by a gang believed to have political patronage. At the time, Mr. Rahumathulla told the media that he held a deputy minister of the ruling political party in the area responsible, as the newspaper was allegedly attacked for its coverage on corruption in the Co-operative sector.

The continued attacks on "Varra Ureikal" is an extension of the prevailing violent environment in Sri Lanka. Media personalities,human rights activists and opposing political party members are constantly harassed and assaulted for daring to dissent and expose wrong-doings. Networking for Rights calls on the government to launch an immediate and genuine investigation into the attack and bring the culprits to book. It also reiterates its stand that this culture of violence and impunity should end immediately, and freedom of expression restored as a pre-condition for a successful post-war reconciliation in Sri Lanka.

Issued by

Steering Committee, NfR Sri Lanka

Steering committee : Kshama Ranawana ( Canada) Lionel Bopage ( Australia), Nadarasa Sarawanan (Norway), Nadarajah Kuruparan(UK) Padmi Liyanage (Germany), Raveendran Pradeepan (France), Rudhramoorthy Cheran (Canada), Saman Wagaarachchi ( USA), Sunanda Deshapriya ( Switzerland)

NfR statement 10.20.2011 Editor Vaara Ureikal assaulted.pdf

NfR – Net working for rights in Sri lanka

Exile network for media and human rights in Sri Lanka

Press release/ 10 February 2011

Sri Lanka: "Vaara Uraikal" Editor assaulted

For a third time in less than two years, the "Vaara Ureikal", the only provincial newspaper in the Eastern region has come under attack. In the latest instance,on February 8, 2011 the Editor of the newspaper, M.I Rahumathulla has had chilly powder thrown at his face and has been assaulted with iron rods.

Networking for Rights views this assualt, yet another attempt to silence the media, as a violation of human rights and strongly condemns the attack.

This newspaper which has been fighting corruption in the Muslim dominated Kathankudi and Batticaloa areas has been subjected to many threats over the years. Unidenfied men, armed with swords and clubs broke into the newspaper office which is located at Mr. Rahumathulla’s residence on April 1, 2009 and assaulted him severly. Though a complaint was made to the Kathankudi police, no arrests have been made as of today. On September 13, 2010, the newspaper was attacked by a gang believed to have political patronage. At the time, Mr. Rahumathulla told the media that he held a deputy minister of the ruling political party in the area responsible, as the newspaper was allegedly attacked for its coverage on corruption in the Co-operative sector.

The continued attacks on "Varra Ureikal" is an extension of the prevailing violent environment in Sri Lanka. Media personalities,human rights activists and opposing political party members are constantly harassed and assaulted for daring to dissent and expose wrong-doings. Networking for Rights calls on the government to launch an immediate and genuine investigation into the attack and bring the culprits to book. It also reiterates its stand that this culture of violence and impunity should end immediately, and freedom of expression restored as a pre-condition for a successful post-war reconciliation in Sri Lanka.

Issued by

Steering Committee, NfR Sri Lanka

Steering committee : Kshama Ranawana ( Canada) Lionel Bopage ( Australia), Nadarasa Sarawanan (Norway), Nadarajah Kuruparan(UK) Padmi Liyanage (Germany), Raveendran Pradeepan (France), Rudhramoorthy Cheran (Canada), Saman Wagaarachchi ( USA), Sunanda Deshapriya ( Switzerland)

NfR statement 10.20.2011 Editor Vaara Ureikal assaulted.pdf

Today is the first anniversary of the disappearance of Prageeth Eknaligoda, a cartoonist and political analyst who worked for the Lanka-e-News website. He went missing in Colombo on 24 January 2010. The investigation into his disappearance has drawn a blank, despite the promises initially made by the authorities.

The situation for journalists in Sri Lanka continues to be very disturbing. Under the system of media control and intimidation established by President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government, state media journalists are censored and journalists with the privately-owned media censor themselves. Those that dare to criticize the president or his associates, as Prageeth did, risk serious reprisals.

Reporters Without Borders condemns the failure to assign resources to the investigation into Prageeth’s disappearance. President Rajapaksa must make an effort to establish what happened to this journalist and quickly offer some answers to his family, who have been left to worry for the past year without being told anything.

Cartooning for Peace and Reporters Without Borders are marking this sad anniversary by launching an international support campaign, using 12 cartoons by cartoonists throughout the world to symbolize each of the 12 months that Prageeth has been missing.

Prageeth’s wife, Sandya Ekneligoda, wrote to the former and current media ministers on 13 December about the lack of progress in the investigation despite the promises that the former minister gave on 10 February and the current minister gave on 7 May. She said her two children were suffering from their father’s absence and the failure to provide any explanation about his disappearance.

Together with Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS), Reporters Without Borders has just relayed an appeal about the literary festival taking place in the southern city of Galle from 26 to 30 January. Addressed to the Galle Literary Festival’s organizers and to the writers who are planning to attend, it does not call for a boycott but urges them to give some thought to the situation of dissident writers, journalists and cartoonists in Sri Lanka, including Prageeth.

The Alliance of Media Organizations staged a demonstration outside the main station in Colombo on 18 January about Prageeth’s disappearance and newspaper editor Lasantha Wickrematunga’s January 2009 murder. The participants chanted: “One year since Prageeth’s disappearance, two years since Lasantha assassinated – do we allow injustice?”

At least 14 journalists have been murdered in Sri Lanka since 2006, three have disappeared and more than 30 others have been forced to flee the country. Reporters Without Borders was ranked 158th out of 178 countries in the 2010 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

http://en.rsf.org/sri-lanka-no-news-of-political-cartoonist-24-01-2011,39384.html