Statements   |   Sri Lanka

AP bureau chief ordered out of Sri Lanka

In response to a report by The Associated Press saying that the agency's Sri Lanka bureau chief Ravi Nessman left the country on Monday after the government refused to renew his visa, we released this statement...

"By refusing to renew the visa of an international news agency bureau chief the government is signaling to foreign journalists that it does not want independent reporting," said CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney. "This is part of a disturbing pattern of harassment and censorship of all journalists in Sri Lanka which has continued despite the end of the civil war."

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Sri Lanka has won the war! It cannot win the peace by not allowing journalists and aid agencies access to this beautiful land.
The issue is not Tamil, Sinhalease, Muslims, Malays,Burgers,Cindies or Farcis. The issue is LTTE and Prabakaran has been replced by Rajapakse -President and 3 brothers who control 75% of Sri Lanka's budget.

AP can send another journalist to the country. I don't see a problem here. They didn't refuse visa to a new AP reporter but refuse to extend it beyond two years based on their policies.

Best cause of action for AP to assign another reporter.

Today marks the Black July of 1983 Tamil pogrom when thousands of Tamils in the South were massacred, many thousands made homeless, their businesses, homes and property looted and burnt.

The exodus that began with Tamils dispersing to the West as refugees has still not abated.
The ethnic ratio of SL changed so much so now Tamils are a negligible component in Sri Lanka's census and statistics.

Ravi Nessman, Chris Morris (BBC), other foreign correspondents and foreign aid organisations are thorns in the newly victorious government and their reports are impediments to its show-case victory against `terrorism'.

And it still needs the IMF loan to increase its military expenditure even after ostensibly wiping out the LTTE.The excuse is there are LTTEers in the camps and some have infiltrated into the South.

The 300,000 Tamils herded in concrete barbed wire camps need clearance they are not LTTE.
From infants to the elderly are here. The govt. do not need these pesky meddling foreign correspondents sending out reports of atrocities such as deliberate starvation, rape and torture and indoctrination for supposedly teen LTTE cadres.

But the US is seriously considering giving the first tranche of the IMF loan. Would this be a gift by the US for wiping out `terrorism'?

Britain is opposing the loan ostensibly but US is all for it.

Why cannot the West see what they have witnessed in the final throes of a war perpetrated on Tamils and strongly oppose this loan.

How can it cow down to a regime that has instigated untold misery on Tamil minority.

Would US have tolerated such blatant disregard for human rights in Iraq or Afghanistan?

No. Sri Lanka is of no use to the West.

Pearl Thevanayagam July 24, 2009 6:35:36 PM ET