Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Home > Tamils - a Trans State Nation > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Indictment against Sri Lanka - Introduction & Index  > Genocide'83  > Rajiv Gandhi's War Crimes '87 to '90 > Sri Lanka's Genocidal War '95 to '01 Sri Lanka's War on Eelam Tamils in the Shadow of a Ceasefire: '02 to '07Sri Lanka's Genocidal War '08 ...after Abrogation of the CeasefireSri Lanka's Continued Ethnic Cleansing  2009... - after Tamil Armed Resistance Ends... Disappearances & Extra Judicial Killings > Rape & Murder > Torture  > Sri Lanka's War Crimes > Patterns of  Impunity > Censorship, Disinformation & Murder of Journalists  > Sri Lanka Accused at United Nations 


Censorship, Disinformation & Murder of Journalists

..States that want to oppress a people do so by breaking their political will to resist injustice. To do this, oppressing states kill a societies intellectuals and journalists who speak for the rights of their people. They want the Tamils to be intellectually rudderless. It is easier to enslave a people who have lost their ability to understand the nature of their oppression..'  D. Sivaram, columnist for Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) and Virakesari (Tamil Daily), memorial speech for  Slain Batticaloa journalist Aiyathurai Nadesan, 7 August 2004

[see also Media & the Tamil Struggle & Manufacturing Consent]

The Record Speaks...
5 September 2009 IFJ condemns brutal jail term for Sri Lankan journalist Tissainayagam
1 September 2009 JS Tissainayagam named the first recipient of the Peter Mackler Award for courageous and ethical journalism.by the Paris-based group Reporters Without Borders
31 August 2009 Tamil Journalist Tissainayagam sentenced to 20 years hard labour
1 July 2009 Sri Lanka revives draconian law to gag media
5 May 2009

 "Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) has blocked access to the following websites as of today from its ADSL network:


Reports I have received indicate that these are still accessible on Dialog. All ISPs in Sri Lanka have repeatedly blocked access to Tamilnet.com, but actions today indicate that the scope of websites being blocked that are perceived to be pro-LTTE is increasing apace. - ICT for Peace Building

Comment by tamilnation.org "We have always taken the view that if we are ignored, we have not been effective, and if we are effective we will not be ignored. It seems that President Rajapaksa's genocidal regime regards us as being too effective.  We had on average received around one thousand visitors each day from Sri Lanka - and it seems that that number is large enough to worry the murderous Rajapaksa regime. Such is the fragility of its hold on power. The words of Mamanithar Dharmaretnam Sivaram come to mind  'It is easier to enslave a people who have lost their ability to understand the nature of their oppression'.Hence censorship."

23 March 2009 Media & the Soldier - The Gospel According to Gotabhaya
20 June 2008 Twenty-nine IFEX members alert UN secretary-general  Sri Lanka statements  that "put journalists in grave danger"
18 June 2008 Media self-censorship promoted by defence ministry's guidelines
14 June 2008

Leading investigative journalist receives death threat

12 June 2008 Head of  Sri Lanka State Media calls for journalist's death - Free Media Movement (FMM), Colombo
12 June 2008 Sri Lanka Officials harass local press during EU delegation visit - Reporters sans frontières (RSF), Paris
11 June 2008 Journalist Tissainayagam's detention extended for 90 days, still held without charge - International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Brussels
10 June 2008 Free Media Movement condemns suppression of political protest by ruling party politicians - fears new round of human rights violations
9 June 2008 Amnesty International UK  vigil for 'Justice for Media Workers in Sri Lanka' in front of Commonwealth Secretariat, London

9 June 2008 Freelance journalist threatened with murder by ruling party politician in Matale district
8 June 2008 Fourth Muslim journalist assaulted by ruling party supporters in Kathankudi
7 June 2008 Reporters Without Borders condemns defence ministry campaign against independent news media
5 June 2008

Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence viciously attacks independent media  

The Free Media Movement (FMM) is outraged at the recent statement by the Ministry of Defence that incites violence by claiming that the FMM and other independent media support terrorism and the LTTE. Full of half-baked conspiracy theories, hate speech, unsubstantiated allegations and an idiom of terror, the statement is the latest from a government increasingly intolerant of investigative and independent journalism.

1 June 2008 Record of  Journalists and Media Workers Killed in Sri Lanka 1999 - 2008

Mylvaganam Nimalarajan, Aiyathurai Nadesan, Dharmaretnam Sivaram, Arasakumar Kannamuthu, Relangi Selvarajah, Manickam Kamalanathan, Yogakumar Krishnapillai, Subramaniam Sugirtharajan, Bastian George Sagayathas, S. Ranjith, Suresh Kumar, Ranjith Kumar, Mariathas Manojanraj, Sathasivam Baskaram. Sinnathamby Sivamaharajah, S. T. Gananathan, Subash Chandrabose, Selvarajah Rajivarman, Nilakshan Sahapavan....

31 May 2008 Group storms journalist's house, warns him against reporting on defence and military matters
30 May 2008 Sri Lanka Press Institute visited by armed military inquiring about directors, staff
28 May 2008 Tamil Television journalist Devakumar hacked to death in Jaffna
31 May 2008 Sri Lankan journalists: An extinct and unprotected species - Satheesan Kumaaran
24 May 2008

Sirasa TV crew attacked and their equipment destroyed

22 May 2008 Abduction and Torture of Journalist Keith Noyahr
17 May 2008 Independent web media hacked in Sri Lanka

"The Defence Ministry recently set up an electronic media observation unit at a building adjacent to Standard Chartered Bank in front of the President's House in Colombo to monitor websites reporting on the situation in Sri Lanka. LD learns through reliable sources that this particular unit staffed with electronic and IT experts, is experimenting on how to disrupt websites."

15 May 2008 Amnesty International Urgent Action Appeal - Jayaprakash Sittampalam Tissainayagam (m), journalist 
9 May 2008 Attempt to bar foreign media from covering Eastern province PC election

Military authorities turned back journalist Ravi Nesman and photographer Gamunu Amarasinghe of the Associated Press, insisting that they need special permission to cover the election in the East. Nesman and Amarasinghe were stopped at a checkpoint in the eastern town of Valaichchenai and ordered to leave the province and head straight back to the capital, Colombo. Apparently all check points on the main road were informed of the incident and of the license plate of the car in which the journalists were traveling. On their way back, they were told at every check point not to take any by-roads. FMM views this action by military officials as nothing less than crude intimidation.

7 May 2008 IFJ Condemns Two-Month Detention of  Journalist Tissainayagam Without Charge
7 May 2008 Slain journalists remembered in Colombo

Movement Against Media Suppression (MAMS), a common front organization consisting of five major media organizations, held a memorial event Tuesday around 6:30 p.m. in front of Fort Railway Station, Colombo, in remembrance of the 14 slain journalists. The MAMS, in a leaflet gave the statistics, describing the state of media freedom in Sri Lanka where 14 journalists were killed in recent years, 8 journalists were subjected to abductions, 4 were imprisoned, 5 electronic broadcasts were blocked, 1 website blocked, 3 records of suppressive laws against media and countless number of harassments against media and media personnel.

28 April 2008
22 April  2008 Police Urged to Investigate Threats to FMM Treasurer
9 April 2008 Attacks Ease Against SLRC Workers But Tisseinayagam Remains in Custody
4 April 2008 Journalist Tissainayagam's Arbitrary Detention - Appeal by Amnesty International
2 April 2008 Sri Lanka Media Union Demands End to Political Intervention in State Media
31 March 2008 Journalist Detained 24 Days in Sri Lanka Without Charge
27 March 2008
24 March  2008 Sri Lanka Minister Verbally Abuses Journalists
20 March  2008 Three Journalists Released in Sri Lanka as Military Man Appointed to SLRC
17 March 2008 Home Invasion May Be Attempt to Intimidate Sri Lankan Journalists
17 March  2008 Family of Threatened Journalist Seriously Injured in Attack in Sri Lanka
10 March 2008  Journalists Hauled In for Questioning in Sri Lanka
18 December 2007 Sri Lanka ranked third in murders of journalists

Press Emblem Campaign, an independent media watchdog based in Geneva, in a press release issued Monday said, Sri Lanka ranked third worldwide in number of journalists killed in 2007 in line of duty, behind Iraq and Somalia. "Sri Lanka ranks third, seven journalists killed this year against four last year due to the intensity of the civil war," the press release said

30 October 2007 Sinhala journalist shot in Colombo [TamilNet]

Two armed men who tried to stop the motorbike of the news editor of ethalaya.com, a Sinhala language website attached to the Sisira TV, opened fire on him, around 11:45 p.m. Tuesday in Rajagiriya in Colombo. The journalist, Kumudu Champika Jayawardana, was rushed to Colombo General hospital. The attack on the journalist of the Sisira TV, owned by one of the largest privately-held media corporations, the Maharajah Television (MTV), which runs three stations, comes three days after the Sri Lankan government silenced the five FM radio services operated by the Asian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), another private media corporation in Sri Lanka. The incident took place on Nawala Road. MTV Channel telecasts MTV English, Sirasa TV in Sinhala and Shakthi TV in Tamil with separate channels for each of them. Sinhala language websites have come under fire from the Government ministers.

30 October 2007 Extrajudicial killings and threats to media personnel in Sri Lanka

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from reliable sources concerning several cases of extrajudicial killings and threats to media personnel in Sri Lanka since 2004. Few cases have been investigated and to-date not a single person has been brought before the court. The AHRC is concerned by the impunity of these killings due to the lack of investigation.

9 October 2007 Threats to Tamil Media Personnel - Neshor Report
22 June 2007 "White van" men visit Tamil Editor's residence

A group of unknown men in a White van at 11:30 a.m Wednesday entered the Hamdan Lane, Wellawatte apartment building of N. Vidyadaran, editor of Colombo-based Tamil daily Sudar Oli, and had harassed the security guard at the reception after being told that Mr Vidyadaran was not in his apartment. The men had inspected the editor's car, threatened the guard, and left the building, Vidyadaran told TamilNet. He is also the General manager and Deputy Editor of Jaffna based daily Uthayan.

21 June 2007 Colombo admits to cyber terrorism- FMM
20 June 2007 Tamilnet banned? - How to continue to access the site from Sri Lanka
19 June 2007 Sri Lanka blocks TamilNet
27 February 2007 Why do they threaten us ? ask  Thilakaratne Kuruwita Bandara, Chief Editor,  Maubima and Ruvan F. Guruge, Director Editorial Board
15 February 2007 Jaffna journalists fearful amid threats, killings

"The campaign of intimidation backed up by deadly violence has compelled Sri Lankan journalists of all ethnicities to flee Sri Lanka. But unlike their southern colleagues, journalists in the Jaffna have no easy escape and media institutions in the northern peninsula are appealing for international support in the face of threats by Army-backed paramilitaries. In an urgent appeal issued this week, the Jaffna Journalists Union urged international media groups to protest the targeting of reporters in Jaffna. The Union singled out the targeting of individuals associated with the Jaffna-based Tamil News and Information Centre (TNIC), a registered non-governmental organisation whose board includes local reporters, Jaffna university lecturers, and civil society activists. Two of TNIC’s members had been murdered by gunmen and many others were facing death threats from Army-backed paramilitaries, the Union said. On February 1, one of the TNIC’s patrons, Mr. S. T. Gananathan, was shot dead barely 200 meters from the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) camp at Mampalam junction in Ariyalai.Mr. Gananathan, 64, had been President of the Jaffna Multi Purpose Co-Operative Society (MPCS).more

7 February 2007 Supreme Court  fixes inquiry into Fundamental Rights petition by Tamil journalist
Sri Lanka's Supreme Court by a majority decision, Wednesday, granted leave to proceed with the Fundamental Rights petition filed by a Tamil journalist Mounasamy Parameswary against the State for violating her fundamental rights by detaining her "illegally without any charges under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA)." She is being held in detention since her arrest.

When this FR petition came up for inquiry before a three-member panel of the Supreme Court Wednesday, Justices Shiranee Bandaranaike and Raja Fernando decided to grant leave for the petitioner to proceed with her FR case against the State. Justice Andrew Somawanse decided against. However, according to the majority decision of the SC, the inquiry into the FR petition has been fixed for inquiry on March 8.

6 February 2007
12 January 2007 Media watchdog condemns paramilitary ban on papers
9 January 2007 Mob led by Sri Lanka Minister attacks Journalists at United Peoples Movement event
30 November 2006 Sri Lanka should either charge or release a freelance Tamil journalist says Committee to Protect Journalists

Parameswaree Maunasámi, who wrote for the Sinhala-language weekly Mawbima, was arrested at her home south of Colombo on November 24 along with another Tamil woman, according to the local media advocacy group Free Media Movement (FMM).

She is being held under anti-terrorist legislation that allows for prolonged detention without charge. The authorities gave no reason for her arrest. Mawbima has distinguished itself among Sinhala-language newspapers for an editorial line that is critical of both the Sri Lankan military and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebels, FMM spokesman Sunanda Deshapriya said.

Maunasámi’s colleagues said they believed she might have been arrested for her work at the paper covering the separatist conflict.

“We call on the authorities to clarify why they have detained Parameswaree Maunasámi,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “Tamil journalists have too often been harassed because of their political affiliation, their ethnicity, or their reporting. Such actions harm the ability of all Sri Lankan journalists to cover this period of escalating violence.”

7 November 2006 Sri Lanka Army censors Maveerar Naal coverage

"It is an outright violation of the freedom of press by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) 512nd Division high officials to threaten the Editors of the Jaffna peninsula Tamil dailies not to publish any news related to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), and not to publish LTTE leader Pirabakaran's photo or his annual November Heroes' Day message," S. Gajendran, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian for Jaffna district, told TamilNet Monday. "The Editors of Uthayn, Yarl Thinakural and Valampuri had been summoned by the SLA high officials to their offices in Gnanam Hotel and Subash Hotel in Jaffna Monday and were threatened not to publish any news about the LTTE or the coming National Heroes' Day on November 27," the MP said.

"The SLA officials have also reprimanded the editors for publishing stories highlighting the current humanitarian crisis in the Jaffna peninsula caused by the undeclared economic embargo on the peninsula by the SLA, and the closure of the A9 route preventing the flow of essentials like food, medicine and fuel."

4 November 2006 Sri Lanka: Military threatens Reuters journalist
23 October 2006  International Federation of Journalists condemn bombing of Voice of Tigers  radio station

The bombing of the official radio station of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the Voice of Tigers (VoT), by the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) in Vanni last Tuesday. The IFJ, reminding the Sri Lankan government of its "absolute obligation" under the Geneva Convention to respect the safety of journalists, said it hoped the attack does not set a "terrible precedent" for further "targeted attacks" on media outlets. The SLAF attack on Thamileelam Vanoli tower in Kokkavil, destroyed the main transmitter and tower of the station that broadcasts three services, the VoT, a Sinhala service and a Tamil commercial service from Vanni.

11 September 2006 Sri Lanka Military Intelligence  attempts assassination of Uthayan editors in Jaffna
8 September 2006 Gunmen force Uthayan to carry their statement
6 September 2006 BBC and its Flirtations with Sri Lankan Propaganda
1 September 2006 Maharaja TV employee abducted in Colombo
29 August 2006 Tamil Journalist Guruparan abducted in Colombo
21 August 2006 Journalist Sivamaharajah assassinated
19 August 2006 Uthayan newspaper warehouse burnt down in Jaffna
16 August 2006 Reporters Without Borders condemns Murder of Sudar Oli Employee
15 August 2006 Newspaper delivery agent shot and killed in Jaffna
13 August 2006  Sri Lanka Armed Forces & Public Relations
25 June 2006 Sri Lanka reimposing press curbs – watchdog
9 May 2006 Sanmugam Sabesan -  ஊடகவியலாளர்களின் உயிர்களை உறிஞ்சுகின்ற சிறிலங்காவின் பயங்கரவாதம்

  "...தமிழ் ஊடகங்கள் மீதும் தமிழ் ஊடகவியாளர்கள் மீதும் சிறிலங்கா அரசுகள் தொடர்ச்சியான வன்முறைகளை மேற்கொண்டு வருவது குறிப்பிடத் தக்கதாகும். நிர்மலராஜன், சுகிர்தராஜன், நடேசன், சிவராம் போன்ற தமிழ் ஊடகவியலாளர்கள் கோரமாகக் கொலை செய்யப்பட்டது மட்டுமன்றி எண்ணிலடங்காத் தமிழ் ஊடகவியலாளர்கள் சிங்கள அரசுகளாலும் தமிழ் ஒட்டுக் குழுக்களாலும் தொடர்ந்தும் அச்சுறுத்தப்பட்டே வருகின்றார்கள்..." more

5 May 2006 International Community should protect Tamil media - Tamil Media Forum

"The threats, attacks, and killings of Tamil journalists carried out by the Sri Lanka Security Forces and the collaborating paramilitary have reached unprecedented levels. The entire Tamil media is being targeted and intimidated by Security Forces," said the Tamil Media Forum in its memorandum to Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse handed over to Killinochchi Government Agent (GA) Mr. T. Rasanayagam Thursday at 11.30 a.m.

2 May 2006 Murderous Attack at Uthayan Newspaper Office - the Truth & the Coverup
April 2006 International Association of Tamil Journalists,
24 January 2006 Subramaniam Sugirtharajan, Tamil Journalist shot dead by Sri Lanka Para Military
"Reporters sans frontières (RSF) Press Release - Reporters Without Borders today condemned the murder of Subramaniyam Sugirdharajan, a correspondent of the Tamil-language daily Sudar Oli in the eastern city of Trincomalee, who was gunned down early this morning after writing yesterday about the abuses committed in his region by Tamil paramilitary groups. We are horrified by the level of violence against Tamil journalists, the press freedom organisation said.The impunity enjoyed by the instigators and perpetrators of these murders encourages more violence against the press We urge Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake to do everything possible to ensure that the police identify and arrest Sugirdharajan¹s murderers, as well as the murderers of Relangi Sevaraja and Dharmeratnam Sivaram, who are still at large." more
22 December 2005  Press freedom under threat in Jaffna -says  International Federation of Journalists

"The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is concerned of a clampdown on media freedoms in Jaffna following incidents of journalists being beaten, arrested and newspaper offices being searched. The concern is that these three incidents are just the beginning of the targeting of media and journalists in Jaffna which will result in a total clampdown of freedom of expression and free and independent reporting.... .Intimidation of journalists such as the searching of a newspaper office is an attempt at intimidating the media against a pro Tamil nationalism editorial stance..” more

21 December 2005 The Associated Press, the Truth & Co-Chairs Final Statement

"The Associated Press may want to re examine its Report filed from Colombo in the light of its stated vision of being ' the bastion of the people’s right to know around the world' and being 'an industry leader in open government issues' and ask the question  whether the spin that the AP report puts to the Co-Chairs Statement is more in accord with the agenda of the Research Analysis Wing of India in relation the conflict in the island of Sri Lanka than with truth. The Associated Press Reporters from Colombo include Krishnan Francis and  Dilip Ganguly."

21 December 2005 Committee to Protect Journalists  deeply concerned about recent attacks on ethnic Tamil journalists

"The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned about recent attacks on ethnic Tamil journalists... Several protesters were wounded when baton-wielding soldiers charged the demonstration. The army also opened fire to disperse the thousands of protesters, but the Defense Ministry said that no one was injured by the gunfire, according to The Associated Press."

 [Note by News Watch - but see Reuters Report - Simon Gardner, 19 December 2005  "Hospital staff said it was the worst incident of its kind since a 2002 ceasefire halted two decades of conflict between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). One protester had been confirmed shot and wounded and 14 others were also injured, they said. The injured included senior university staff who said they had been beaten with sticks and rifle butts....  On streets bearing the scars of past bombs and shells, soldiers stood with assault rifles and sticks, some obscuring their faces with black bandannas...".  See also The Associated Press, the Truth & Co Chairs Final Statement]

13 October 2005 Murder of Principal Kopay Christian College & Sri Lanka's Disinformation
23 May 2005 The Discourse of the Peace Process in the Sri Lankan Press
How the Sri Lankan press handled the Peace Process initiated by the United National Front Government
- Selvarajah Senthan

“Journalism tries to depolarize by showing the black and white of all sides, and to de-escalate by highlighting peace and conflict resolution as much as violence. Changing discourse within which something is thought, spoken of and acted upon is a very powerful approach. This journalism stands for truth as opposed to propaganda and lies, ‘truthful journalism’. Truth aspect holds for all sides, just like exploration of the conflict formation and giving voice to all”. (Galtung, 2002, p.262)

9 May 2005 Reporters Sans Frontiers urges Norwegian monitoring mission to carry out its own investigation into the murder of Dharmeratnam Sivaram

"Experience leads us to fear that the Colombo authorities will not do everything necessary to identify the killers and the instigators of Sivaram's murder. In fact, the absence of any rigorous investigations and trials in previous murders and attacks on journalists has considerably discredited the state's work in support of press freedom."

8 May 2005 Did Karuna personally kill 'Taraki' Sivaram? - D. B. S. Jeyaraj

 " The greater danger is whether Sivaram's murder is actually a strong, single signal or a forerunner of more killings to come. The rumour that a powerful minister in Kumaratunga's cabinet and an influential parliamentarian in government ranks are "connected" to this special intelligence unit and gave the green light for Taraki's murder is frightening. The 'unofficial' sanctioning of 'official' state terror is a development that needs to be deplored strongly. Only international pressure can help to prevent state terror being unleashed again. .."

3 May 2005 Sivaram Murder exposes government inability to address assassinations aimed at causing instability - Asian Human Rights Commission

"..This is the latest in a series of killings that the Sri Lankan government has proven unable to address due to its historical ambivalence to such murders. Assassination became an express part of government policy in the early 1980s. The period of terror that followed ended only with the political defeat of the incumbent government. The explicit use of the police and armed forces as political killers ended, yet there were no attempts to address the effects of this time. In fact, the condoning of limited assassinations has continued from time to time. Coupled with the inability of the state to improve the law and order situation, this has contributed to an environment in which anyone can get away with murder. .."

1 May 2005 The International Federation of Journalists Warns of More Violence after “Tragic and Senseless” Murder of Sri Lankan Journalist

“This is a shocking, tragic and senseless killing of a prominent and distinguished commentator who was a leading voice of the Tamil minority,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “His death will only fuel further violence and puts the fragile cease-fire between Tamils and the Sinhala majority in the country under intense pressure... When journalists who have much to contribute to the political debate about the future become the targets of violence, the scope for democratic exchange and understanding of how to resolve the political crisis becomes dangerously narrow,” said White. “We must have an end to death threats and we must find the killers of Sivaram and bring them to justice.”

1 April 2005 When Fear Stalks a Community

"On March 26, 2005 Bob Hepburn, the Editorial Page editor of the Toronto Star, wrote a highly damaging, baseless and frivolous report titled "When fear stalks a community" about the Canadian Tamil community and the LTTE. It wad based on reports by Jo Becker of HRW and by a 'frightened' Tamil university student and 'influential' Tamils, all of whom are reported by Bob Hepburn to be afraid to talk openly about child soldiers and the LTTE. This is the letter written in reply...

2005 Sri Lanka's Vernacular Press and the Peace Process: 2000 -  2005 - Suthaharan Nadarajah, Asia Foundation Publication

"...Vernacular press coverage has, since February 2002, been noticeably shaped by nationalist ideologies and, in some cases, racist sentiments. Almost all leading Sinhala papers have adopted strong Sinhala-Buddhist nationalist positions. The Tamil press has seen a narrowing and shifting to the right of positions on the peace process and the Tamil question in general. Sinhala papers' suspicion and hostility toward the LTTE have remained undiminished and have deeply colored coverage and analysis of the peace process. Tamil papers (with one prominent exception) generally have not questioned, and have sometimes defended, the LTTE's bona fides. Compared with negotiating positions adopted by the LTTE and the government, the Tamil press has echoed LTTE positions while the Sinhala press has broadly reflected the government's and the military's stances on issues of contention. Since shortly after February 2002, the Muslim press has increasingly taken a critical, even hostile, position on the LTTE amid anxieties of being marginalized by both the government and the LTTE..."

January 2005 The Killing of Pirapaharan! - New Delhi's RAW & the Media

What do Karuna, Ram's Hindu, Lanka Truth, Asian Tribune, B.Raman, & Chandrika Kumaratunga have in common? - a RAW commitment to truth?

2004 Response by R.Shanmuganathan from Australia to Reuters Article on Prabakaran Turning 50 

Nowadays, when you read news supplied by international news wires, one automatically looks for the other side of the story. Such is the one-sided nature of news reports. The old adage that there are two sides to a story has really come into the fore now. International media seem to be keen to promote their opinion rather than the accuracy of a report.

23 November 2004 Tigers dismiss Batticaloa attack reports as SLA psy ops

"The Liberation Tigers dismissed reports in the Sri Lankan state controlled media that more than thirty LTTE fighters were killed in a landmine attack in the Batticaloa district's interior. These are all part of a psy-ops build up to scare people from observing Heroes' Day at the martyrs' memorial in the interior", the LTTE spokesman in Batticaloa said. .. the Sri Lankan armed forces are carrying on a full scale psychological war against them with encouragement and active support from President Chandrika Kumaratunga's government. Sri Lankan state media reported in August this year that Col. Ramesh and several fighters were killed in a landmine explosion in Karadiyanaaru. Now they report that he has left the LTTE in Kilinochci. We do not know who trained them, but we know that Sri Lanka army psy-ops are downright silly", Mr. S.Manoj, the LTTE media co-ordinator for Batticaloa said."

11 November 2004 Contribution to Truth by  Reuter Correspondent Joe Ariyaratnam in Sri Lanka
29 July 2004 RSF urges Norway to press for journalists' safety in Sri Lanka

"Reporters Without Borders Thursday urged Norway to press Sri Lankan authorities to fight impunity with which journalists are attacked in the island, particularly on its east coast. ''Since the killing of a correspondent in Batticaloa region at the end of May, without any condemnation from a single minister, two other journalists have been forced to flee the area and take refuge in the capital'', RSF said. Reporters Without Borders urged Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgesen - visiting Colombo on 25-30 July to relaunch the peace process - to promote press freedom in his meetings with the government, the Tamil Tigers and opposition figures. The organisation's 28 July appeal comes two days after two armed men, suspected of being LTTE members, shot journalist Sadacharalingam Kamaladas wounding him seriously in both legs at his home in Ariyampathi, Batticaloa district in the east of the country..."

13 July 2004 Terror stalks journalists in the east says RSF

" Even as threats against journalists in eastern Sri Lanka reached alarming levels over the last few weeks, Reporters without Borders had been conducting an investigation in the country. It has just released a series of nine recommendations to sustainably improve the state of press freedom on the island.

In the wake of Aiyathurai Nadesan’s murder in May 2004 in the eastern city of Batticaloa, Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim journalists described the difficulties facing province-based correspondents. Before he was killed, Nadesan had told Reporters without Borders : "We are always caught in the crossfire. It is very hard for us to check our information with both the security forces and the Tamil Tigers. And when a local news article is released from Colombo, we may face reprisals in the field."

During a fact-finding mission in Sri Lanka early this year, Reporters without Borders interviewed dozens of journalists. The majority expressed their apprehensions and frustrations in dealing with a situation that has become much too volatile for them to assert that press freedom is a given in the country. Moreover, the association has noted new outbreaks of threats and assaults against journalists within the last few weeks.

The impunity which prevails in cases involving the murder and assault of journalists is seriously jeopardising press freedom and the peace process in Sri Lanka. Reporters without Borders urges the Sri Lankan government and President Chandrika Kumaratunga to take immediate action to find and punish the perpetrators....

One journalist has been murdered, while a dozen others face death threats in the eastern part of the island : these are trying times for press freedom in Sri Lanka. Reporters without Borders is calling upon the President and her government to act swiftly to sustainably enhance the safety and freedom of the country's journalists..."

30 June 2004 MTV and the UPFA
26 June 2004  Batticaloa turns a nightmare for local journalists,

"A journalist in Batticaloa went into hiding Friday, fearing for his life after persons suspected to be members of a paramilitary group working with the Sri Lankan military intelligence threatened him with death.. The journalist, Mr. Thanthiyan Vedanayagam, was working as the Batticaloa correspondent for the independent Tamil daily ‘Thinakkural’.."

2 June 2004 Pattern of Intimidation and Murder to Silence Independent Journalists

Nadesan had been harassed and threatened before his death because he had criticized the government and security forces, according to CPJ research”, the New York based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said in a statement condemning the murder of the veteran Tamil journalist in Batticaloa on Sri Lanka’s east coast. Meanwhile Mr. Nadesan’s colleagues in the east demanded investigations into “the pattern of intimidation and murder to silence Tamil journalists.. "On June 17, 2001, a Sri Lankan army officer summoned Nadesan for an interrogation and threatened the journalist with arrest unless he ceased reporting about the army", the CPJ said. "We are outraged by the murder of Aiyathurai Nadesan and urge authorities to find and punish those responsible for this crime," said Executive Director of CPJ Ms. Ann Cooper.

31 May 2004 Contribution to Truth by  Sri Lanka's State Controlled Press

Journalist shot dead by suspected LTTE gunmen  Report by Ranil Wijayapala in Sri Lanka State Controlled Daily News  - "A senior journalist was shot dead by suspected LTTE gunmen in Batticaloa yesterday morning as he was riding his motorcycle, Police told the Daily News."

31 May 2004 Aiyathurai Nadesan, Vice-President of the Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance shot dead 
19 April 2004 Media bias: dangerous fruits, flowers and foliage
11 March 2004 Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reports on attacks on Press Freedom in Sri Lanka
31 March 2004 For Tamil Journalists in Northern Sri Lanka 

An experimental Initiative of Media Resources and Training Centre of Jaffna University, Jaffna, Sri Lanka.

1 June 2003 A Study of the Media in the North East - Colombo, Sri Lanka based Centre for Peace Alternatives
20 November 2000 New Media Institute to be built in Kilinochchi

"Foundation stone for a new Media Technology Institute is to be laid in Ariviyal Nagar in Kilinochchi on Friday, 26 November, sources in Vanni said. Officials in charge of the Institute said that the Institute is intended to promote media education among the Tamil community and to train local journalists to keep current with the advances in journalism and media information technology."

4 November 2000 Sri Lanka Diplomat & Truth
3 November 2000 Responding to Sri Lanka's Misinformation Campaign, Sara Ananthan
31 October 2000 Bindunuwewa and after - A Response to the Sri Lanka 'Island' , V.Thangavelu
19 October 2000 Tamil journalist Nimalarajan shot dead in Jaffna by Sri Lanka aligned group,
October 2000 That Australian Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) Program 'Behind the Tamil Tigers' - Brian Seneviratne
1 October 200 Tamil Diaspora & Sri Lanka's Disinformation - M.Sreetharan, U.S.A
5 October 2000 Response to the Toronto Star, V Thangavelu
15 September 2000 Asian Age & Truth - S.Sivanayagam
9 September 2000 Child Soldiers in Sri Lanka: Manufacturing Moral Outrage - Ilango Rajendran
6 September 2000 Sri Lanka Island's disinformation & the Killing of  Lalith Athulathmudali - V.Thangavelu
12 August 2000 UTHR(J) - a  mouthpiece of Sri Lankan government - V.Thangavelu
21 July 2000 Six Blind Men of Indostan - Sachi Sri Kantha
18 July 2000 Devotion of Black Tigers - Sachi Sri Kantha - being a  response to 'Glorifying Death' by Nirupama Subramanian in the Brahmin owned Hindu
12 July 2000 Reuters & Reality: Tamils must believe in themselves first - N.Ganapathy

A number of news items from Reuters and other agencies are regularly posted in the Tamil Circle (and elsewhere). The purpose, apparently, is to conveniently present the predominantly Sinhala point of view under the cover of  rational reporting by a foreign news agency.

12 July 2000 Peace Queen & Pigmy Professors - Sachi Sri Kantha
22 June 2000 A Response to Dr.Peter Chalk - Siva Muthulingasamy
19 June 2000 Pirabaharan's Shadow, & Democracy Sri Lanka Style - Sachi Sri Kantha
14 June 2000 A Response to Asia Week - Rajan Thangavelu
June 2000 Some   Stories that the Indian Media were Reluctant to Publish
12 June 2000 The Letters that Time & Asia Week  were Reluctant to Publish - Sachi Sri Kantha
27 May 2000 The Media & the Tamil Diaspora, C.Kumarabharathy,
22 May 1999 World Media & Ethnic Conflicts - M.Vasantharajah
15 May 2000 Committee to Protect Journalists condemns Sri Lanka's policy of censorship as being incompatible with democratic governance...

The New York based  Committee to Protect Journalists in a letter dated 15 May 2000 to Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga declared 'As an organization of journalists dedicated to the defense of press freedom around the world, CPJ condemns your government's decision to pursue this policy of censorship, which is incompatible with democratic governance. No democratically elected government can flourish by denying citizens their right to information.'

15 May 2000 Article 19 calls on Sri Lanka to immediately repeal  press censorship

"The Sri Lankan government unreasonably extended the already excessive restrictions on freedom of expression on 4 May 2000, effectively placing the country on a war footing. The authorities claim that extending reporting restrictions will help to resolve the country’s conflict crisis. ARTICLE 19 believes that years of censorship have not had that effect and that increasing restrictions at this time is more likely to exacerbate tension. ARTICLE 19 calls for the immediate repeal of the wartime censorship regulations which open up the possibility of abuse for political ends and put Sri Lanka in further breach of her international obligations. It is only through an open process of dialogue, based on the public’s right to know and the free flow of information and ideas, that lasting solutions can be achieved."

20 January 1999 Article 19 accuses Sri Lanka of using censorship to conceal true cost of war

"The Sri Lankan government should immediately lift the censorship regime imposed under island-wide emergency regulations more than six months ago and take other long-promised steps to guarantee press freedom, ARTICLE 19 said today.In a new report, Fifty Years On: Censorship on conflict and media reform in Sri Lanka, (released on 20 January 1999), the London-based international anti-censorship organisation accused the Sri Lankan government and military of using the emergency regulations to conceal from the Sri Lankan people the true cost of the continuing war against the separatist Tamil Tigers. "...

January 1999 US based Human Rights Watch  Report

"On August 26, 1998 Thadshanamurthy Mathusoothanan, a columnist for Saranihar, the Tamil newspaper published by the human rights organisation MIRJE (Movement for Inter-Racial Justice and Equality) and editor of another Tamil bulletin, was abducted off a street in Colombo and held incommunicado for seventeen hours until journalist friends traced him to police custody, where he was detained under emergency regulations pending investigation. His father, who attempted to visit him in detention, was denied access; on August 28 his two younger brothers were also arrested...."

18 September 1998

Sinhala owned Sri Lanka press accused of war mongering and racism....

 " The Sri Lankan press has been accused of war mongering, racism and ignorance about the country's ethnic conflict in a study conducted by an independent think-tank here."It is as if all journalistic norms have been discarded in the frenzy to criminalise Tamils and to create an atmosphere of suspicion bordering on paranoia,'' said the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), in its Media Monitor report just published.The report's conclusions were arrived at after monitoring English, Sinhalese and Tamil newspapers over a three-month period in 1997 but the CPA said the trends of that period "still appear to hold true''."

23 July 1998 "Censorship far broader than  necessary to protect  national security" says Article 19 yet again

ARTICLE 19, the International Centre Against Censorship, is concerned about a number of issues relating to media freedom that have arisen in recent  weeks. These include, particularly, the governments re-imposition of direct censorship under the emergency regulations and the apparent lack of progress that has been made by the Sri Lankan police in investigating the recent armed attacks on the homes of two newspaper editors.

11 June 1998 US NGO Forum on Sri Lanka condemns press censorship

Despite Sri Lanka's claim to being a democracy, the government has often interfered with the media. Particularly where the war is concerned, government control has been prevalent. Journalists have consistently been forbidden from entering conflict zones, often referred to as "uncleared areas." It is extremely distressing that while the media has been allowed to report fully on conflicts such as Bosnia, Northern Ireland, and even Chechnya, a tragedy is being played out behind closed doors on this small island.

12 February 1998 Gunmen threaten journalist, Iqbal Athas...

"On 12 February 1998, five gunmen, suspected to be connected to the security forces, forcibly entered the home of Iqbal Athas and, after threatening him and his family, attempted to abduct him. Amnesty International is seriously concerned for his safety, and fears that his attempted abduction may be due to his activities as a journalist.

6 January 1997 BBC correspondent Flora Botsford: "There were no direct threats against me, but..."

"...there are no direct threats against me. On the other hand....and I won’t go into details.......when I was offered an exclusive interview, recently, with someone from the rebel side, it was made very clear to me that if I interviewed this person, if I travelled to interview this person, my life would be a misery when I got back, I might even have to leave the country.... Recently, some journalists were taken up to an area in the North which the government had recently captured from the Tamil Tigers and none of the international media were invited. Only local journalists were invited....and they were really.....it was spelt out very clearly to them... that this was to be used as an example to boost the army recruitment drive and certainly some of the journalists weren’t very happy with that."

December 1996 Patricia Lawrence, Anthropological Consultant for the Film, Anthropolgy Department, Colorado University:

Emergency powers have been used by successive governments in Sri Lanka to close newspapers, to prevent camera equipment and journalists from entering areas of active conflict, enable government security forces to destroy evidence of possible extrajudicial executions, and to prohibit distribution of academic writing and information about human rights violations. For more than 26 of the past 42 years Sri Lanka has been ruled under a declared state of emergency.

March 1996 "Censorship went far beyond .. protecting national security" says Article 19

"..The broad scope of the censorship... went far beyond any legitimate interest in protecting national security or public order. Government censorship and restrictions on access to the north not only kept the public uninformed, but also made the process of providing humanitarian assistance to the victims of war more difficult and may have concealed violations of humanitarian and human rights law."

24 December 1995  Attack on Dr.S.Sathananthan

"I was woken up by a loud and persistent banging noise at the gate, a few minutes before two o'clock in the morning of November 22, 1995. Looking out of my bedroom window I saw numerous uniformed men, one of whom stood pounding on the gate. ..I have no doubt in my mind that all this amounts to a systematic campaign of harrassment. And I am equally sure that the harrassement has been instigated in response to my critical publications and in particular on account of the work I am engaged in as Secretary of the Action Group of Tamils in Colombo (AGOTIC). It is futile to hope that AGOTIC or I could be intimidated into silence.."

28 November 1995 Voice of America reports on Sri Lanka's disinformation campaign...

"..The Sri Lankan Government is waging a propaganda war to complement its military offensive. Correspondent Michael Drudge reports from Colombo that truth has become one of the war's victims. Media observers say Sri Lankan television has begun resorting to disinformation in its reporting on the war against Tamil Tiger guerrillas..."

23 June 1990 Calculated Disinformation campaign by Sri Lanka


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