Saturday, April 30, 2011

Media rights groups protest blockage of pro-opposition news website, reporter's arrest

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — International media rights groups are calling on Sri Lankan authorities to release a journalist arrested over an incorrect news report and to unblock his company's website.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said Thursday's court order to detain the reporter and block pro-opposition news website LankaeNews was just the latest attempt by authorities to "silence an independent news outlet."
The order was made despite the website publishing a correction and an apology for the story it published.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Authorities continue drive to stamp out pro-opposition media

Reporters Without Borders condemns yesterday’s refusal by a court in the Colombo suburb of Pugoda to release Shantha Wijesuriya, a journalist with the Lanka E-news online newspaper, on bail pending trial on a contempt of court charge for an erroneous news report. Access to the website was also blocked on an order from the court pending the outcome of the trial.
Wijesuriya has been held in Mahara prison since 25 April for wrongly reporting on 19 April that the Pugoda court ignored a directive from the attorney-general’s office when it released two police officers accused of murder. Lanka E-News posteda correction and apology three days after the original report.

Sri Lanka News Website Suspended, Journalist Held in Custody

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) strongly condemns a court order today to suspend operations of Lanka-e-News in Sri Lanka.

The Pugoda Magistrate’s court ordered the suspension of online news organisation Lanka-e-News until a contempt case against one of its journalists, Shantha Wijesooriya, is concluded, the Lanka-e-News website reported before the suspension took effect.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

News web suspended

The Pugoda Magistrate has suspended the operations of the Lanka e News website pending a case over charges of defamation.

The order was issued by the court today when the case was taken up for hearing. Meanwhile the Editor of the website Benette Rupasinghe said he had resigned from the website.

Courts suspends Lanka e News

Daily Mirorr- The Pugoda Magistrate ordered to suspend the activities of Lanka e News website until court case against it is over. The Magistrate ordered the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) to suspend the operations of the website temporarily.

Sri Lankan authorities ban Lanka eNews

New York, April 28, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned today Belarus's information ministry attempts to close down the opposition newspaper Narodnaya Volya and the independent newspaper Nasha Niva, and called on the ministry to stop its harassment of both publications.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Panel of experts finds credible reports of war crimes during Sri Lanka conflict – UN

25 April 2011 – The panel of experts set up to advise Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on accountability issues with respect to the final stages of the conflict in Sri Lanka has found credible reports of war crimes committed by both the Government and Tamil rebels and calls for genuine investigations into the allegations, according to a report made public today by the United Nations. 


The decision to release the report, which was submitted to the Secretary-General on 12 April and shared with the Sri Lankan Government, was made as a “matter of transparency and in the broader public interest,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement.

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on public release of Panel of Experts' report on Sri Lanka

The United Nations has today made public the advisory report of the
Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on accountability with respect to the final stages of the decades-long armed conflict in Sri Lanka, which was submitted to him on 12 April 2011. The decision to release the report was made as a matter of transparency and in the broader public interest.

Journalist arrested on contempt of court charges

Networking for Rights (NfR) expresses it serious concern that Lanka-e-News journalists Shantha Wijesuriya has been arrested and remanded on contempt of court charges. He was arrested by Kiridiwela police on 25th  April and  has been remanded till 28th April. 

Shantha from LankaeNews arrested on contempt of court charges

Lanka News Web-The police arrested journalist Shantha Wijeysuriya from the LankaeNews this evening. He was arrested by the Kiridiwela Police from the LankaeNews website office on contempt of court charges after interrogating for 30 minutes.

He is to be presented before the Pugoda Magistrate Court tomorrow (26).

Monday, April 25, 2011

LeN journalist Shantha Wijesuriya arrested

(Lanka-e-News -25.April.2011,5.15PM) LankaeNews journalist Shantha Wijeysooria was arrested at the LEN Colombo office premises today evening, following charges levied upon him for 'contempt of court'.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lanka e-news editor released

Daily Mirror, Lanka e-news editor Bennet Rupasinghe was released on bail a personal bail of Rs. 300,000 and a cash bail of Rs. 10,000 by the Kaduwela Magistrate today. Magistrate, J. de Alwis warned him not to obstruct the police in the process of conducting investigations.

The date for the next hearing is June 7.



Court grants bail for detained Sri Lanka editor

COLOMBO (AFP) – The editor of a pro-opposition Sri Lankan news website was released on bail Thursday, a week after his arrest sparked protests from international media rights groups.

Bennet Rupasinghe had been taken into police custody on charges of allegedly threatening a suspect wanted for a January arson attack on the offices of his website, Lankaenews.com.

Magistrate Jayaki de Alwis turned down a police request to extend Rupasinghe's detention for another two weeks and ordered him to be released on bail of 10,000 rupees (90 dollars).
Court officials said his case would be heard in July.

Protesting for Bennet’s release

Media Rights groups organised a protest today outside the Kaduwela Magistrates Court calling for the release of Lanka e-news editor Bennet Rupasinghe. Anoma Fonseka and JVPer Vijitha Hearth show their support. Pic by Daily Mirror Varuna Wanniarachchi

IFJ Demands Immediate Release of Sri Lankan Editor

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) renews its call for the immediate release of Lanka-e-News news editor Bennett Rupasinghe, who was arrested in Sri Lanka on March 31.

News Editor of Lanka e News Benette Rupasinghe in jail

Renewed call to ensure security of Lanka-e-News staff and release of detained news editor

(April 06, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian)On 24th March, the undersigned individuals issued a statement calling for urgent interventions to ensure the safety and security of the staff of the Lanka e-News website, including from imminent arrest.

The arrest, on 31st March, of Mr. Bennet Rupesinghe, senior journalist and news editor of Lanka e-News, has reaffirmed our fears.

NfR urge the IGP not to oppose bail application of journalist Bennet Rupasinghe and to conduct speedy impartial investigation

Mahinda Balasuriya  Esqr.,
Inspector General of Police,                                                                                                   
Police Headquarters,                                                                                        
Colombo1,                                                                                                                       
Sri Lanka.

Dear Sir,

Arrest and Detention of Mr. Bennet Rupasinghe, News Editor of Lanka-e-news

            NfR, Net work of Sri Lanka journalists and human rights defenders in exile would like to bring to your urgent attention to following facts regarding the arrest and continued detention of Mr. Bennet Rupesinghe  a senior journalist and the news editor of Lanka-e-News website.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

IUSF wants UN mediation to help restore democracy

Mirror - The Inter-University Students’ Federation has written to the United Nations, seeking its intervention to restore democracy in Sri Lanka.

Their petition says that the conclusion of the war in May 2009 hadn’t brought about the anticipated change in the country.
As part of a UPFA strategy aimed at silencing democratic opposition, the IUSF alleged the government had targeted student organizations and prohibited student organizations at universities.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Rights groups demand release of Sri Lanka editor

COLOMBO (AFP) – International media rights groups Friday asked Sri Lanka's government to release the editor of a pro-opposition news website, a day after he was remanded in police custody for a week.

Police arrested Bennet Rupasinghe on Thursday for allegedly threatening a suspect wanted in connection with a January 31 arson attack on the office of the website, Lankaenews.com.

Friday, April 1, 2011

IFJ Questions Charges Against Sri Lankan Editor

The IFJ joins its affiliate the Free Media Movement (FMM) in calling for the immediate release of Lanka-e-News news editor Bennett Rupasinghe, who was arrested on March 31 on charges related to an arson attack on the news portal’s office earlier this year.

Authorities step up intimidation, jailing Lanka-e-News editor

Reporters Without Borders calls on the Sri Lankan authorities to immediately release LankaeNews editor Benette Rupasinghe, who was today arrested by the Colombo police for allegedly threatening another man. Aged 68 and a diabetes sufferer, Rupasinghe is currently being held in the infirmary of Colombo prison.