Sri Lanka


Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan government to impose guidelines on media

President Rajapaksa's government is imposing new guidelines on the Sri Lankan media. (Reuters)

New York, November 10, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by the Sri Lankan government's announcement of an upcoming set of guidelines and code of conduct for journalists and media organizations, and believes these regulations will only increase the government's control of the media.

The announcement, which appeared Thursday in the government-owned Daily News, said the government would "soon introduce a set of guidelines and a code of conduct for media to be adhered to by all media institutions and media persons in the country." The announcement also stated that the government would set up the guidelines, which would be enforced under the relevant laws.

November 10, 2011 1:37 PM ET


Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, anti-government website blocked

New York, October 19, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by reports that access to anti-government news website Lanka eNews has been blocked inside Sri Lanka, according to the site's exiled editor and users inside the country. All three language versions of the site, English, Sinhala, and Tamil, have not been available since Tuesday. 

October 19, 2011 2:21 PM ET


Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan journalist missing for 500 days

A missing poster for Eknelygoda.

New York, June 8, 2011--It has been exactly 500 days since Sri Lankan journalist Prageeth Eknelygoda disappeared. He has not been seen by his wife Sandhya Eknelygoda or by the couple's two teenage sons, Sanjay and Harith, since he left for work around 7:30 a.m., on the morning of January 24, 2010. Sandhya filed a complaint with the local police office at 11:30 a.m. the next day but so far no government official has given her information about her husband's whereabouts. His family and colleagues at the Lanka eNews website where he worked have no idea what has become of Eknelygoda.

Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

Another Lanka eNews journalist arrested

New York, April 25, 2011--Police arrested a journalist with the independent Sri Lankan news website Lanka eNews today, according to local news reports. CPJ has called on the United Nations and the international diplomatic community this year to respond to a series of uninvestigated attacks targeting the outspoken site. 

Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

Diplomatic corps must act to free ailing Sri Lankan journalist

New York, March 31, 2001--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the international diplomatic community in Colombo to help secure the release of Lanka eNews website News Editor Bennet Rupasinghe. According to colleagues in Colombo and international news reports, Rupasinghe was arrested by police after responding to a summons. He was called to give a statement about allegedly threatening a brother of a suspect who is in custody over the arson attack on the site's office on January 31.

March 31, 2011 4:56 PM ET


Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

Media rights groups to U.N.: Intervene in Sri Lanka case

A missing poster for Eknelygoda.

New York, March 8, 2011--Five prominent media rights organizations sent a letter on Monday to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, calling on the U.N. to intervene in the case of Prageeth Eknelygoda, the Sri Lankan columnist and cartoonist for the Lanka eNews website, who disappeared on January 24, 2010. Since then, the letter notes, his wife, Sandhya Eknelygoda, has been asking the Sri Lankan government for any information about his fate. She has been given no word from any person in the government. Eknelygoda's disappearance and his wife's efforts on his behalf have been widely reported in Sri Lankan and international media.

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Attacks on the Press 2010: Asia Analysis

Partisan Journalism and the Cycle of Repression

With journalists in their midst, police and protesters clash in Bangkok. (Reuters/Chaiwat Subprasom)

by Bob Dietz and Shawn W. Crispin

Lal Wickramatunga's family and publishing house, Leader Publications, have paid dearly in Sri Lanka's highly charged political climate. While Leader's newspapers, including the weekly Sunday Leader, are widely known for tough, independent reporting, they have been caught up in a partisan media environment, one filled with violence and censorship. Wickramatunga's brother has been murdered, his company has been sued, and his journalists face intimidation.

Attacks on the Press   |   Sri Lanka

Attacks on the Press 2010: Sri Lanka

Top Developments
• Anti-government cartoonist missing; police make no evident effort to find him.
• Government readies plan for a strict media regulatory agency.

Key Statistic
19: Journalists in exile, having fled violence, imprisonment, and intimidation.

In his Independence Day speech on February 4, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared that the country "cannot be developed with harassment, gross punishments, or by the gun." But the sentence that followed--"Discipline is not revenge"--hinted at the repressive measures his administration would continue to pursue against critical news media.

February 15, 2011 12:14 AM ET

Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

United Nations must intervene to protect Sri Lanka's media

The offices of Sri Lankan website Lanka eNews were completely destroyed in an arson attack today. (Lanka eNews)

New York, January 31, 2011--Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon must press the United Nations to address the string of uninvestigated and unprosecuted attacks on journalists and media houses under the government of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. CPJ responded after an early Monday morning arson attack on the offices of the independent Sri Lankan website Lanka eNews in the Malabe suburb of the capital, Colombo. Staff members told CPJ that everything in the offices had been destroyed, although no one was injured in the 2 a.m. raid. The outspoken website posted pictures of the destruction

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