Sri Lanka / 2012

CPJ Blog

Reuters Institute focuses on Sri Lankan journalism

December 28, 2012 11:08 AM ET

The most recent paper produced by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford, "Media Freedom in post-war Sri Lanka and its impact on the reconciliation process<," does a great job of cataloging the abuse Sri Lankan journalists continue to face after the decades-long civil conflict with...

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Journalists still murdered where impunity reigns

December 18, 2012 12:00 AM ET

Almost half of the 67 journalists killed worldwide in 2012 were targeted and murdered for their work, research by the Committee to Protect Journalists shows. The vast majority covered politics. Many also reported on war, human rights, and crime. In almost half of these cases, political groups are the...

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Integrity vs. authenticity in video journalism

December 13, 2012 2:20 PM ET

Back in November 2010, Britain's Channel 4 broadcast a leaked video that appears to show men in Sri Lankan military uniforms executing bound prisoners, the camera panning across a series of bodies laid out in a ditch. Family and friends identified one of those bodies as that of Tamil...

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UPDATED: A window of opportunity to take on Sri Lanka

November 1, 2012 1:06 PM ET

If you've been watching the attempts to silence media in Sri Lanka through attacks, disappearances, legal harassment, and government policies aimed at restricting free speech and the right to information, take the time to speak out with others around the world today. An opportunity like this only comes around every...

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Sandhya Eknelygoda speaks for Sri Lanka's disappeared

September 4, 2012 1:28 PM ET

When I first met Sandhya Eknelygoda in May 2010 in her home outside Colombo, she was a distressed mother of two young boys whose husband had gone missing. He was last seen four months earlier, just prior to the elections that returned President Mahinda Rajapaksa to power after the end...

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No right to information in Sri Lanka

August 7, 2012 11:27 AM ET

You would think that with fighting between government forces and secessionist Tamils finished in May 2009, the Sri Lankan government might ease its grip on public information--information which is really the property of the country's citizens, not whichever administration happens to be holding political power. In 2004, former President...

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Defense tools for Sri Lanka's online onslaught

July 25, 2012 2:17 PM ET

Sanjana Hattotuwa, the founder of the citizen journalism website Groundviews, sent us the links to a new series of posters and videos focused on digital communications security. The material, which is aimed at a Sri Lankan audience, is available in English, Sinhala, and Tamil, but is relevant to anyone who...

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Sri Lankan editor needs backup after minister's tirade

July 10, 2012 11:41 AM ET

As far as Frederica Jansz is concerned, "The Sri Lankan media have been completely cowed into submission by this regime with the exception of The Sunday Leader. It is Mahinda Rajapaksa's biggest success story next to winning the war."...

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How times change in Sri Lanka, and how they don't

June 4, 2012 12:48 PM ET

For a good historical perspective on the abuse of journalists in Sri Lanka, Iqbal Athas, the recipient of a 1994 International Press Freedom Award from CPJ, wrote a center-page spread for the 25th anniversary edition of the Sunday Times, a popular weekly in Colombo. Athas, a critical journalist who...

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A heads-up for Sri Lanka press freedom watchers

June 1, 2012 12:55 PM ET

Former Attorney General Mohan Peiris has been ordered to testify about a statement he made at the U.N. Committee Against Torture in Geneva on November 9, 2011, in which he said that Prageeth Eknelygoda was alive and living outside the country (see "Sri Lanka's savage smokescreen"). Peiris will have to appear...

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Sri Lanka Supreme Court slams door on websites

May 17, 2012 11:52 AM ET

On Wednesday, Sri Lanka's Supreme Court slammed the door on a case about the shutdown of four websites that had failed to register with the government. In handing down its decision, the Court appeared to rule that freedom of expression in Sri Lanka is not an absolute right and can...

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In Sri Lanka: Protecting Peiris, hounding victim's family

April 25, 2012 12:00 PM ET

The magistrate's hearings into the January 24, 2010, disappearance of opposition journalist and cartoonist Prageeth Eknelygoda continue at a tortuously slow pace. A correspondent in Colombo shared the details of the April 24 hearing, where Eknelygoda's wife, Sandhya, and the couple's two teenage sons continue to press for any news of...

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Eknelygoda's wife latest victim of Sri Lankan intolerance

March 26, 2012 2:04 PM ET

On Thursday and Friday, we wrote about the ugly government backlash to last week's U.N. Human Rights Council resolution calling for an investigation into Sri Lanka's alleged abuses of international humanitarian law during its war with Tamil separatists....

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Amid Sri Lankan denial, threats rise for journalists

March 23, 2012 2:15 PM ET

In the wake of the U.N. Human Rights Council resolution calling for an investigation into Sri Lanka's alleged abuses of international humanitarian law during its war with Tamil separatists, the government has resorted to outright threats of violence against journalists who might dare to return home after taking part...

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Sri Lanka media restrictions come amid rise in abductions

March 15, 2012 1:45 PM ET

On March 9, Sri Lanka's military authorities told all news and media organizations that they would have to get prior approval before releasing text or SMS news alerts containing any news about the military or police....

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Recalling Marie Colvin, the 'greatest of our generation'

February 23, 2012 3:41 PM ET

In her final hours, Marie Colvin gave this damning report to CNN's Anderson Cooper. Bravery, generosity, and commitment: These are the three characteristics of Marie Colvin that have surfaced, again and again, in the many tributes spoken and published since the veteran Sunday Times reporter was killed Wednesday in...

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Black January? A foreign plot, says Sri Lankan government

January 25, 2012 3:46 PM ET

On Monday, I wrote about two demonstrations scheduled for Sri Lanka this week. Both were meant to commemorate the ugly string of anti-press attacks in recent Januaries, which has included journalists killed and abducted, television stations bombed, websites attacked, and media offices torched. But Wednesday's Black January effort, publicized...

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In Sri Lanka, Eknelygoda asks that humanity trump cruelty

January 23, 2012 5:28 PM ET

A couple of weeks ago, I described the terrible incidence of anti-press abuse that has come each recent January in Sri Lanka. Media activists have come to call the month "Black January" for good reason, as this email message details: ...

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Sri Lanka's woeful January way-points

January 9, 2012 4:28 PM ET

For Sri Lankan journalists, January might be the cruelest month. In January 2011, Sonali Samarasinghe wrote about the death of her husband Lasantha Wickramatunga two years earlier on January 8, 2009. In January 2010 I reported in "Sri Lanka: A year later, still failing to fight media attacks" about the...

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