SL hits back at US

5 July 2012 04:05 am - 23     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Sri Lanka hits back Wednesday over claims it is clamping down on media freedom after criticism from rights groups and Washington for its shutting of opposition news websites.

“Look at the newspapers in Sri Lanka. Can you possibly say that there is no freedom of press in the country? There is so much,” Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Gamini Lakshman Peiris told reporters in Tokyo. “If you look at Sri Lankan newspapers, if you look at Sunday papers, they are full of the most abusive criticism, but nothing happens to those newspapers,” he said. Sri Lanka, which lifted a state of emergency last year after concluding a decades-long ethnic conflict in 2009, is now beginning “a new chapter in our history, an exciting chapter, full of hope and promise,” he said.

Colombo faced criticism after its police shut down opposition news websites and arrested nine employees, including several journalists, last Friday. The United States on Saturday joined rights groups in demanding Sri Lanka stop “harassing” media organisations. Peiris told reporters in Japan the police move was justified as a way to protect privacy and safeguard reputations. AFP

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Gamini Lakshman Peiris speaks at a press conference in Tokyo on July 4, 2012. Peiris attended the World Ministerial Conference on Disaster Reconstruction in Tohoku held in the northen city of Sendai. AFP

  Comments - 23

  • sandeepa Thursday, 05 July 2012 08:51 AM

    Another election is around the corner....he...he...he...he

    Shirley Thursday, 05 July 2012 08:57 AM

    You are absolutely correct.

    Dinithi Thursday, 05 July 2012 03:01 PM

    Seems like your promises have been broken. I have great hopes and found promises. It really is not about the government. It is about your own ability.

    Vis8 Thursday, 05 July 2012 03:13 PM

    It is the same in the great USA, too.........

    Dinithi Thursday, 05 July 2012 03:14 PM

    There is no media freedome in any country, US or UK. Otherwise wiki leaks should not have been blocked.

    Lasi Thursday, 05 July 2012 03:50 PM

    Yes. Prof. GL., point out how US banned wikileaks everywhere on its soil when wikileaks first revealed US committing war crimes with evidence. Point out what happened to Julian's funding sources and himself. Where on earth did someone with rape accusation get a GPS attached? It's the duty of media to show how so called democratic powers abuse media freedom and educate morons in our country about Utopic "media freedom"

    Imran Hussein Friday, 06 July 2012 05:26 AM

    Someone has to explain you what media freedom is. Wiki leaks totally is another matter. Its baout US security. How we defended and reacted when channel 4 telecasted some disturbing clips? Dont mix up things.

    Nodrog Thursday, 05 July 2012 09:53 AM

    Funny how the Opposition and the ruling Govt have opposite views on media freedom.

    wedige Thursday, 05 July 2012 04:15 AM

    Can you tell the same to Hilery directly ?

    None of the SL news papers talk about the died prisner in Vavuniya !

    shantha madawela Thursday, 05 July 2012 04:13 AM

    freedom only for Govt. reporters.......

    p.wijesekera Friday, 06 July 2012 06:19 AM

    Of course the press in Sri Lanka is free.They get killed if they displease certain people that is all.

    Coconut Donkey Thursday, 05 July 2012 05:04 AM

    Good one Minister, asking the Japanese to 'look at the news papers in Sri Lanka'... am sure they are well versed in the our state of affairs...

    TMA Thursday, 05 July 2012 05:10 AM

    Abusive criticism is there. Towards the opposition

    Chathuranga Thursday, 05 July 2012 08:39 PM

    I salute you. Hope everyone else would learn to think in the same manner.

    The Judge Thursday, 05 July 2012 05:16 AM

    You are adding up Human Rights violations to your account

    Kiris Baba Amaray Thursday, 05 July 2012 11:33 AM

    The Forieign Minister is very brave.

    Godagampala Rohana Thursday, 05 July 2012 11:36 AM

    The entire world know that there is no Media Freedom. GL you cannot erase the black mark.

    prasad Thursday, 05 July 2012 05:26 AM

    Are you talking about the one who took 3 prison guards as hostages ?

    Al Rasa Thursday, 05 July 2012 05:24 AM

    Washington condones every misdeed done under the guise of
    free media.

    kalutaraboy Thursday, 05 July 2012 11:43 AM

    what about US only allowed to opperate if they are friendly to them . What happend to PRESS TV in UK and US

    Sri Minnal Friday, 06 July 2012 07:18 AM

    Minister, Do you really mean there is a press freedom in your banana republic??

    Mr. B Wijeyasingha Friday, 06 July 2012 02:01 AM

    The US media is not free and Sri Lanka should take a pro active role in countering the US charges by pointing to the media control in the US. Believe me there are plenty of media personnel who are not free to express their views in the US. China has taken a pro active role against the high handed imperialist attitude of Washington D.C.

    Imran Hussein Thursday, 05 July 2012 07:38 AM

    'Full of hope and promise'?. lol , Full of Dead Ropes and Broken Promises, you plonker.

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