No killings, abductions, arrests and assaults against journalists but threats in June in Sri Lanka

(July 12, 2010, Colombo - Lanka PolityFollowing is the report regarding press freedom in the month of June in Sri Lanka issued by a media organization and we believe this report is sent to international organizations to base on these facts in lobbying for freedom of expression. Although there are no killings, abductions, arrests and assaults, the report is full of other incidents.

Monthly report No 06; period covered June  2010

1.     June 2010                      No killings of media personal reported

2.     June 2010                     - No abductions of media personal reported
3.     June 2010                     - No arrests of media personal reported

4.     June  2010                    - No assaults of media personal reported

5.     28 June 2010      - Political witch hunt launched against CEO of Lankaenews
State media launched a political which hunt against CEO ofwww.lankanewsweb.com  Chandima Withanaarachchi. The web site publishes critical content has been banned by Government of Sri Lanka for past year.

6.     27 June 2010      - TU leader forced to resign
Trade union leader Sanjeewa Samarasinghe of Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited resigned form his job due to threats coming form higher authorities. Sanjeewa Samarasinghe is the secretary of Jathika SevakaSangamaya, a trade union affiliated to main opposing party UNP.

7.     25 June 2010      - Rivira Editor becomes victim and loses job and salary
Rivira Editor, Upali Tennekoon, who fled to the US with his wife following a brutal attack on him it to be sacked from his job by the new administration at the newspaper organization.

8.     24 June 2010      - A mad slinging journalist gang against Sri Lanka – state media
It has been reported that ten media personal, who have left the country on many pretexts and applied for political asylum are engaged in a conspiracy against Sri Lanka.These persons are in close contact with INGOs which are trying to instigate UN against war crimes in Sri Lanka. They have received many privileges because of these contacts.

9.     22 June 2010      - Sinhalese with LTTE leader photo further remanded
Puththa’lam Magistrate Monday ordered further remand till June 30 for a Sinhalese civilian Amarasingha Chandana when he was produced from prison on a charge that he was carrying a photograph of LTTE leader VelupillaiPirapaharan.

10. 19 June 2010      - Screen of the film hall torched
On 19th  an unidentified group torched the giant screen at the Shanthicinema, a day before the Tamil version of the movie Raavan (Raavanan) was screened. The movie’s main stars Abishek BachchanAishwarya Rai and its director Mani Ratnam were among those who did not attend the IIFA ceremony in Colombo.

11. 08 June 2010      Eknaligoda’s colleague under threat
A group of unidentified men had broken in to the residence of a colleague of missing Lankaenews journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda, who was involved in media and propaganda activities with him, Disnendra Perera on the 31st. The group had broken in to the house with the intention of abducting Perera.

12. 06 June 2010      - Threats to lankaenews
          The threats on the Lankaenews website have recommenced with the government       now receiving the cooperation of the landlord of the office premises rented out by the      website. http://www.lankanewsweb.com/news/EN_2010_06_09_006.html


13. 26.June .2010     - Church demolished
About 100 police officers who had arrived at a Christian church in Rajagiriyaalong with officials from Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s Urban Development Authority (UDA) and had demolished the church yesterday (25).

14. 20 June 2010      - Call to ban Tamil Nadu films
An unidentified group has called on theatre owners in Batticaloa to refrain from screening movies produced in Tamil Nadu in a move to hit back at Indian film stars who boycotted the recent IIFA awards ceremony in Colombo.


15. June 2010            - Two more journalist left the country
A Programme producer of state controlled TV station left the country because of  death threats. He has been receiving continuous threats since January.
A Tamil newspaper cartoonist form Jaffna left the country for  safetyreasons.
Both of them reached their destinations safely.


16. 21 June 2010      - Safe Passage for Tissainayagam Just One Step Toward Free Media in Sri Lanka - IFJ
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is relieved that J.S.Tissainayagam is safe, following more than two years of an ordeal in which the Sri Lankan Tamil journalist was accused, charged and tried for terrorism for his journalistic reporting on human rights issues.http://asiapacific.ifj.org/en/articles/safe-passage-for-tissainayagam-just-one-step-toward-free-media-in-sri-lanka

17. 19 June 2010      - Freed Sri Lankan journalist Tissainayagamarrives in U.S.- CPJ
          The Committee to Protect Journalist welcomes the arrival in the United States of Sri   Lankan journalist J.S. Tissainayagam, who arrived at Washington’s Dulles   International Airport on Saturday morning.

18. 16 June 2010      - Journalist Escapes Abduction, Unidentified assailants tried to abduct - IFJ
Mawbima reporter Disnendra Perera at his Colombo home in Sri Lanka on May 31, according to local news reports. Perera, a close colleague of missing Lanka-e-News journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda, reported receiving death threats from unknown people demanding he give them a file of documents they claimed Eknaligoda had given him. http://asiapacific.ifj.org/en/articles/colleague-of-missing-journalist-under-threat-in-sri-lanka


19. June 2010            No media protest were reported during the month of June.

Notable developments:

20. 30 June 2010      - Visa's of Non Violence Peace Force staff terminated
On 26th June 2010 Controller of immigration  ordered the country director and coordinator of Non Violence Peace Force (NVPF) Colombo office to leave the country by 30th June 2010. No reasons were given for the termination of their visas. In recent past  NVPF played a vital role in providing in country safety for human rights defenders including journalists. Both of them were given one week more to hand over their responsibilities and both of them left the country on 7th July 2010. Newspapers reported that both of them have been declared persona non grata by  government of Sri Lanka.

21. 24  June 2010     - POLICE OFFICER APOLOGISES TO MP ROSY SENANAYAKE IN SC-( Right to protest)
A chief police inspector apologized to the UNP parliamentarian Rosy Senanayake in the Supreme Court today.He was the first respondent named in a petition filed by Ms. Senanayake claiming that her fundamental rights had been violated.The petition stated that when Ms. Senanayake was gtakinpart in a protest campaign ‘Jana Bala Kahala Nadaya’, organized by the United National Party on June 03, 2008 against the escalating prices of goods, the police officer had insulted her in foul language.

22. 14 June 2010 `- NGO Secretariat under Defence Ministry now
The NGO Secretariat which was previously operated under the Social Services Ministry and thereafter the Internal Affairs Ministry now comes under the purview of the Defence Ministry, following the new Parliament taking office.
The Colombo High Court today ordered that journalist Susil Kindelpitiya be released on surety bail in Rs. 50,000.High Court Judge Deepali Wijesunderamade this order after taking into consideration the submissions forwarded by attorney at law Shanaka Ranasinghe, appearing for Mr. Kindelpitiya and the state counsels.( Susil Kindelpitiya is former news director of MTV/Sirasa TV channel)

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