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Sri Lanka: Stop the War on Journalists

International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), an organization which aims to protect and strengthen the rights and freedoms of journalists is calling for a Global Day of Action on the 10th of April, titled Stop the War on Journalists in Sri Lanka.

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IFJ has asked it's friends and colleagues to participate in the Global Day of Action by:

  • Sending your own letters of protest to President Rajapaksa through local Sri Lankan embassies
  • Sending your own letters to your government calling on their support
  • Displaying the “Stop the War on Journalists in Sri Lanka” image on your website, during rallies, on public display and in the press at any opportunity
  • “This is part of a series of actions for the ‘Stop the War on Journalists’ campaign for Sri Lanka which will culminate with World Press Freedom Day on May 3 and the release of the IFJ’s annual South Asia Press Freedom Report for 2007-2008″ says IFJ.

    Following news reports and links present a detailed picture of what is going on in Sri Lanka. While this is a mainstream media report, it provides an overview of why Sri Lanka is a dangerous place for journalists to operate in.

    Human Rights Watch says

    The Sri Lankan government is responsible for widespread abductions and “disappearances” that are a national crisis, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. Human Rights Watch urged the government to reveal the whereabouts of the “disappeared,” immediately end the practice, and hold the perpetrators accountable….

    …The 241-page report, “Recurring Nightmare: State Responsibility for ‘Disappearances’ and Abductions in Sri Lanka,” documents 99 of the several hundred cases reported, and examines the Sri Lankan government’s response, which to date has been grossly inadequate. In 2006 and 2007, the United Nations Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances recorded more new “disappearance” cases from Sri Lanka than from any other country in the world.

    Morning Star: has a report on detained journalists. Transcurrents reports that the Sri Lanka Media Rights Group expresses concern over the string of journalist arrests.

    Number of journalists arrested; one journalist released after questioning says Free Media Movement, Sri Lanka, an affiliate of the IJF. Reporters Without Borders reacts by expressing concern for the fate of the five Tamil journalists arrested by the anti-terrorist police in Colombo. Uthawi.net, the German non-profit organization for whom Mr.Jasikaran, one of the detailed journalists acted as the liaisons volunteer has issued a press release. Thiru, a blogger from Belgium asks us to send appeals to OHCHR-UNOG, Amnesty International, Sri Lankan President among others, on behalf of the suffering orphanage children. ICT4Peace draws parallels between censorship in Iran and Sri Lanka, which brings to mind this question – If journalists are threatened, will bloggers face similar penalties?

    TamilNet reports that the the government's actions are neither transparent nor in the spirit of a free media, and perhaps reflect the government's actions against the ethnic minority.

    Yesterday morning, I. Shivalingam, a TamilNet reporter from Wattala, boarded the morning train to come to the TamilNet office in Colombo. However, he never reported for work, and has not been seen or heard of since he left his home. Investigations by TamilNet reveal that a white van was seen in the vicinity of the Fort Railway Station round about the time that I. Shivalingam was scheduled to be there. TamilNet investigations have also found that Ranjini, a neighbour of Shivalingam, has also disappeared the same day under suspicious circumstances.

    8 comments

    • Kamal

      Posted by Mathy Kandasamy = LTTE ?

      Investigation needed.

    • //Kamal: 1
      Posted by Mathy Kandasamy = LTTE ?

      Investigation needed.//

      Dear Kamal,what about this type of mind?

      Someone who is not inclined toward peace easily finds a cause for Torture,rape,arbitrary detention and extra-judicial killings of Tamils and war!

      The human rights situation for Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka continues to be horrendous. :-(((((

      regards

      Sri Rangan

    • […] Sri Lanka: Stop the War on Journalists – GlobalVoicesOnline.org […]

    • Ap.Paavi

      Published in TheSunday Times on last sunday written by wife of Tissainayagam, the journalist in TID custody:
      http://freemediasrilanka.wordpress.com/2008/03/31/united-in-fear-travails-of-detainee-families/

      The National Peace Council accepts that all persons need to follow the law and not engage in illegal activities. However, journalists are particularly vulnerable in situations of conflict to which the government is a party as they are duty bound to cover all sides of the conflict.:
      http://freemediasrilanka.wordpress.com/2008/04/03/arrest-highlights-vulnerability-of-journalists/

    • Jina

      One of my uncle was on of these disappeared journalists from Sri Lanka, he was taken by the army and god knows where he is now.

    • […] COPIES TO: Mr. Victor Perera Inspector General of Police Sri Lanka Police Headquarters 101/1 Kew Road Colombo 2 Sri Lanka E-mail: igp@police.lk, police@police.lk Salutation: Dear Inspector General and to diplomatic representatives of Sri Lanka accredited to your country. Source :- hier ( amnesty international in asia & the pacific ) more Links :- Dialy Mirror Global Voices Online […]

    • Parames

      Dear friends,

      please read the following and do participate.

      -Parames

      For your info a campaign against Sri Lanka’s election to Human Rights Council! http://www.hrw.org/effectiveHRC/SriLanka/ A letter from an Asian NGO in Hong Kong on this campaign!

      Dear friends,

      Greetings from ACPP-Hotline Asia!

      In support of an effort by the international NGO community to block the Sri Lankan government from being re-elected to the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council in Geneva on 21 May, we would like to invite you to join other Asian NGOs in this campaign.

      The attached letter is part of a bigger campaign that supports a similar letter written by Sri Lankan NGOs and a subsequent letter by the international coalition*. For more information on the coalition and its campaign, please go to http://www.hrw.org/effectiveHRC/SriLanka/. The signed letter will be sent to all UN members.

      Sri Lanka has been playing one of the most negative roles among the countries in the Council, and has had amongst the worst human rights records in the region and the world during the last two years, during which it has been a member of the Council. In fact it has been the Vice-President of the Council representing Asia for the last one year.

      Recently, Hotline Asia has supported a signature campaign to protest the lack of protection for civilians at Madhu Shrine due to military activities in the country. There were also on-going cases of people from minority religions being killed in the country.

      How to Support:
      Send the following information to mike@ahrchk.org (cc copy to hotline@acpp.org would be appreciated) before Friday, 16 May 2008 at 6:00 pm Geneva time (GMT+2):

      1) name of your organisation and its acronym;
      2) the country in which it is based; and
      3) your name and title or position in the organisation (Only one signature per organisation is required)

      Thank you for your kind attention and support.

      Yours sincerely,
      Linda Noche
      Coordinator
      ACPP-Hotline Asia

      * The internatinoal coalition includes the Africa Democracy Forum, Andean Commission of Jurists, Asian Human Rights Commission, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Centro Estudios Legales y Sociales, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Democracy Coalition Project, East & Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders, Human Rights Watch & Open Society Institute.

      ========
      Asian Center for the Progress of Peoples
      1/F, 52, Princess Margaret Road
      Kowloon, Hong Kong
      Phone: (852) 2714 5123 / 2712 3989
      Fax: (852) 2712 0152
      E-mail: hotline@acpp.org
      Website: http://www.acpp.org

    • […] 在一個沒有新聞自由,沒有言論自由,不能評論政治的地方,你還能期待什麼?這個國家去年的平均國民生產毛額只有1623美元,既使購買力平價(PPP)後也只有4264美元;2008公布的通貨膨脹率(也就是2007年的數據)已經高達15.60%,預估今年的通膨率會高於20%。但街頭已經反應高物價了,一公升汽油大約是1.23美元(1USD約等於106Rp.),一個tku tku司機一天必須賺到3500盧比才能打平一切開支。讓我們用營養午餐經濟學來計算吧,一瓶一公升的飲用水是50盧比,一頓當地餐館的午餐大約是100盧比,一盒賣給觀光客的錫蘭紅茶是170盧比,搭一趟tku tku少說也要200盧比。2006年的Lonely Planet上,一趟tku tku 100盧比起跳,加一公里20盧比。 […]

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