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Media Freedom is Not a License to Abuse

By Shirley Candappa Conventional media—radio, television, the newspapers and now the new social or web-based media should play a positive and informative role in society. Media freedom is in fact the right to free and open debate and the freedom of expression.  The freedom of thought and expression has evolved over a long period of

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Media Freedom and Sri Lanka’s Minority Media

Ameen Minority By Ameen Izzadeen This paper analyses the behaviour of the minority media in different phases of the country’s history and the challenges they face today. The term minority media refers to the print and electronic media catering to the minority communities –the Tamils who make up 17 per cent of the country’s 20

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Elections 2015: The Stakes

DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA The Sunday newspapers carried credible reports that the Presidential election would be held anytime after November this year, most probably in January 2015 while parliamentary elections would be held before the Sinhala and Tamil New Year 2015.  What this means is that over the coming year, the serious political participant or student

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Anti-Muslim Rhetoric Fuels Disharmony

As the government was taking stock of the fallout of the resolution against Sri Lanka passed recently at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), there was more ammunition coming the way of Sri Lanka’s detractors’ intent on tarnishing the country’s image. It came in the form of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) storming a

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A Postwar Opposition for Future Elections

 By Dr Dayan Jayatilleka Isn’t it amazing just how many people don’t connect up the dots? Take this chap Gobi for instance. What if he (or a clone) were to pop up from under a bed and pop a cop just before the presidential or parliamentary election? Would it not warrant the imposition of a

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UNHRC Resolution(s) and people’s participation in Sri Lanka; what gives this regime the advantage in southern society?

By Kusal Perera “Funding has monetized human rights action. NGOs pay – or in their words, compensate -labourers or farmers who attend protests. They give them travel fare, board and minimum wages for the days they miss work. While I don’t blame the participants for accepting such payment, this practice discourages the volunteerism that has

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Early Progress on Devolution Crucial to Sri Lanka: Indian Envoy

BY MEERA SRINIVASAN The Hindu “India considers early progress on devolution and a political settlement as being crucial to Sri Lanka to tackle mounting international pressure,” High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Y.K. Sinha, said, a week after India abstained from voting on the U.S.-backed resolution in Geneva. Early resumption of dialogue between the

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Lessons From Geneva

The New Indian Express Wednesday, April 02, 2014 By V Suryanarayan Published: 02nd April 2014 02:00 AM Last Updated: 02nd April 2014 01:12 AM Gross human violations that took place in Sri Lanka during the last stages of the Fourth Eelam War have come into sharp focus once again. The UN Human Rights Council, on March 27, after

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THE POST-ELECTION SCENARIO: LESSONS & OPTIONS FOR GOVT & OPPOSITION

DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA A famous soliloquy in the history of Hollywood movies in Don Siegel’s iconic film Dirty Harry begins with Clint Eastwood, playing Inspector Harry Callahan says “I know what you’re thinking— did he fire six shots or only five…” In similar vein I can tell what the strategists of the Opposition are thinking

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Reconciliation is a Difficult Task Involving a Feelings and Attitudes Towards one an Another- Bradmon Weerakoon

By Rights Now News Desk Senior civil servant Bradmon Weerakoon says that reconciliation is a difficult task involving a feelings and attitudes towards one another. He made these remarks in an event held in Colombo on yesterday (27th March) under the theme ‘Preface to Reconciliation. “What are we trying to reconcile? What are we trying

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OTHER NEWS

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Theocratic Fascism & Latent Separatism

DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA I’ve heard of home invasions but this is the first time I’ve watched a Ministry invasion. The country watched while the BBS swarmed into Rishad Bathiudeen’s Ministry in search of missing monk, to wit, Ven Watarekke Vijitha thero. Was the latter a suspect in a case of murder, rape, child molestation or

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Media Freedom is Not A License to Abuse

By Shirley Candappa Conventional media—radio, television, the newspapers and now the new social or web-based media should play a positive and informative role in society. Media freedom is in fact the right to free and open debate and the freedom of expression. The freedom of thought and expression has evolved over a long period of

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Media Freedom in Sri Lanka –A Reality or Concept?

By Shirley Candappa The media in Sri Lankacomprises several different types of communication –radio, newspapers, television, magazines and web-based media. There are over a dozen privately owned radio stations and more than 30 privately operated television stations, there are also four major print media organizations, a number of political party-run news papers and a large

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Dissolving PNA, Appealing to UN Increase Pressure on Israel

By Saud Abu Ramadan RAMALLAH, April 20 (Xinhua) — As the Middle East peace talks deteriorate, some officials in Ramallah are saying that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has only one major option left — to dissolve the Palestinian National Authority and thus render the Palestinian territories a state under occupation, a move that would “increase

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Women Having Sex Outside Marriage Should be Hanged: Indian leader

New Delhi, April 11, 2014 (Hindustan Times) Samajwadi Party’s leaders are trying to outdo each other by making one shocking statement after the other. After his boss Mulayam Singh Yadav’s comment that death penalty for rape is unfair, Maharashtra unit chief Abu Azmi has now said women, including rape victims, who have sex outside marriage should

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Sam Rajappa - pic: the weekend leader

Sonia Gandhi wanted Colombo to decimate LTTE before finalising a political solution

By Sam Rajappa Hello Friends Sam Rajappa is a veteraqn Indian journalist with vast insight and knowledge about the happenings in the Indian corridors of power. After having worked for a number of Indian and Foreign media institutions he served as director of the Statesman print journalism school after retiring from active journalism.

In a recent

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A Sri Lankan soldier stands in front of a war monument in Kilinochchi, the former stronghold of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (photo by Will Baxter)

Critics Question Sri Lanka’s ban on Tamil Exile Groups

Analysis: Ban could muzzle rights groups and derail abuse investigations Rights monitors are questioning the motives behind Sri Lanka’s decision to ban 16 Tamil diaspora organizations, which the government has accused of links to “terrorism” and the alleged revival of a separatist movement. On Tuesday, External Affairs Minister GL Peiris signed the proscription order outlawing

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Journalism and the safety of the JOURNALIST

By S. Skanda Sri Lanka according to ‘Reporters Without Borders’ ranks 163rd out of 179 countries in the Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index. During the days of the civil war, Sri Lanka known as one of the most dangerous places to be a journalist. Powerful figures in the defence establishment stand accused of harassing  

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The Crisis in US- Sri Lanka Relations

Dr Dayan Jayatilleka Was it just me or did you notice something very strange in Geneva during the resolution on Sri Lanka? All the speakers who were critical of Sri Lanka focused on post-war sins of commission and omission on the part of the government and the state apparatus— in other words, the present. There

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‘Is this a govt. of laws or a govt. of men?’

By Namini Wijedasa Lawyers, academics and activists hit out at the growing militarisation of every aspect of society at a forum organised by the BASL to analyse the implications of a gazette vesting police powers in the armed forces Speakers at a crammed public forum this week denounced increasing military encroachment into various aspects of

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The Modern Axis of Buddhist hate

By Jake Scobey-Thal ‘Foreign policy’ a highly reputed US-based magazine has drawn attention to what it refers to as dangerously radical brand of Buddhism. Commenting on a photograph of which appeared in a Lankan newspaper of  two monks (one presenting the other a birthday gift),  Myanmar’s Ashin Wirathu and the Sri Lanka’s Galagoda Atte Gnanasara.

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IMADR Oral Statement: 25th Session of the Human Rights Council – Item 5

Item 5: Recommendations of the Forum on Minority Issues 19 March 2014 Thank you Mr. President, Please permit me to share with you the good news of the release of the two Sri Lankan human rights defenders Ruki Fernando and Fr Praveen by the authorities. We wish to express our appreciation to all those member

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IMADR Oral Statement: 25th Session of the Human Rights Council – Item 4

Item 4: General Debate 18 March 2014 Thank you Mr. President, IMADR welcomes the report of the High Commissioner on Sri Lanka, and endorse its recommendations. It is particularly worrying that the armed forces, Terrorist Investigation and Surveillance Units of Sri Lanka are used to intimidate and harass human rights defenders, especially family members of

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Sri Lanka in Geneva: Frozen in Fixed Positions

DR DAYAN JAYATILLEKA With almost exactly a week to go before a crucial vote in Geneva, Sri Lanka seems very much on the back foot. While William Hague, the Foreign Secretary of the UK makes a direct appeal to the readers of ‘The Hindu’, presenting four points in support of his country’s call for an

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The Arrest Of Ruki And Fr. Praveen Is Highly Damaging To National Interests: Law And Society Trust

The arrest of Ruki Fernando and Fr. Praveen under the PTA and their detention is not only a violation of their rights but also is highly damaging to national interests at this crucial time as it sends a strong negative signal to the international community regarding the state of human rights and threats to activists in Sri Lanka at

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Report launch: Australia’s cooperation with Sri Lanka to intercept asylum seekers is in urgent need of rethink

A new report has found that Australia’s cooperation with Sri Lanka to prevent would-be-refugees from seeking protection is riddled with human rights risks and should be stopped immediately. The report, Can’t flee, can’t stay: Australia’s interception and return of Sri Lankan asylum seekers, which is based on interviews with government officials, information obtained through freedom

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Face The UNHRC Resolution To Restore Credibility

By  Jehan Perera There was speculation that the ongoing 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council would see the immediate establishment of a high powered international investigation into war crimes in Sri Lanka and economic sanctions against the country.  The unexpected feature of the draft resolution sponsored by the US is the provision to

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