Category Archives: press freedom & censorship

A Summary Overview of Sri Lanka’s Struggle to contain Covid

Lasanda Kurukulasuriya, in Island, 11 June 2020, with this title Covid19 in Sri Lanka: From lockdown to ‘new normal’.”

Sri Lanka’s handling of the Covid19 outbreak has, comparatively speaking, produced commendable results. Tracing the trajectory of the response, it may be seen that early moves to prepare for what lay ahead served well to mitigate the outcome. A Task Force drawing on expertise of all relevant sectors was appointed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on January 27th, the day the first Covid19 case was reported – that of a Chinese woman tourist.

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Vale Walter Jayawardena, Fighter for Lanka

Hassina Leelarathna

The hardest thing about saying goodbye to a departed one is not being able to say goodbye, as with flowers and incense, a last long look, prayers for the journey ahead, or a final touch.
 Yet, that’s how family and friends will bid farewell to Walter Jayawardena, journalist, lawyer, and well-known activist in the Sri Lankan community in the U.S., who passed away on Sunday May 3, 2020.
 
The funeral service will be conducted online via Zoom by the Sarathchandra Buddhist meditation center in North Hollywood on Saturday starting 5:00 p.m. The subdued farewell will be a contrast to the high energy and gusto that were hallmarks of Walter’s life.

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Covid Apocalypse: Advocates and Challengers

Fauci with Trump

As the Covid Pandemic has spread its tentacles across the world, it has spawned conspiracy theorists of all kinds – not just that powerful idiot in Washington. One line of gloom and doom targets that very regime and depicts an all-powerful set of wheeler-dealers who negate the apocalyptic picture of worldwide disaster that they perceive around the corner. That is, their ‘brilliant work’ is immediately squashed and banished by these masterminds and manipulators in Washington and its many arms.

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Reading Stephen Champion’s Photo Event in 2008 …. Today 2020

Michael Roberts

When I came across some ‘new’ material[1] of great import relating to KP Pathmanathan’s valiant efforts to extricate the LTTE leadership from their deteriorating military situation in early 2009 and to whisk them away to Eritrea with the active support of the great powers, and then reiterated my longstanding criticisms of the Western powers’ imperial effrontery in a fresh article this April,[2] I was surprised to receive an email note out of the blue from Stephen Champion in March this year 2020 – one wholly supportive of my slashing criticisms of the West.

I assumed that Champion was writing to me from UK and was mighty pleased because I was aware of his enterprising camerawork in trying and dangerous conditions in the late 1980s and have a copy of at least one of his pictorial works.[3] I decided to seek out more information on Champion via Google and immediately chanced upon Saroj Pathirana’s report in the BBC Sandeshaya programme describing an event mounted by Amnesty International in July 2008 displaying some of Champion’s photographic collections (see Pix above). Adhering to the principle of progressing step-by-step in temporal order, I placed this item within my Thuppahi site on 20th April 2020.

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The Police State Potential in the Fight against the Covid Pandemic

Gehan Gunatilleka,whose favoured title is “Liberty in the Time of Corona” **

View at Medium.com

Sri Lanka’s police has just announced that it would arrest those who disseminate false or disparaging statements about government officials. Why is this announcement incredibly dangerous?

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Inform Lanka on Repression of Dissent in Sri Lanka. Before and after Elections in 2019

Repression of Dissent in Sri Lanka [July-December 2019]

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Ruki Fernando on Recent Questionings & Intimidation from Governmental ‘Arms’ ‘

An Email Memo from Ruki Fernando, a human rights activist within Sri Lanka

Dear Michael, I present herewith some personal information in response to your Memo.

Please find a a report, based on both incidents reported in mostly local media, but also some not reported, but narrated to me and colleagues directly in private. published Friday, 21st Feb. night SL time https://www.inform.lk/repression-of-dissent-in-sri-lanka/

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Remembering Sunila Abeysekera

An INFORM Item … https://www.inform.lk/sunila-abeysekara/

Sunila, a founder member of INFORM, exemplified how the global and local intersect. For over 40 years, she worked for justice and redress for human rights abuses in Sri Lanka during a time of great challenge and conflicts. Her work placed a special emphasis on gender, human rights and peace building, which included documenting the impact of conflict on civilians, introducing nonviolent strategies of conflict transformation and challenging impunity to hold perpetrators accountable. Hers was a holistic vision that addressed many issues, ranging from violence against women to sexual and reproductive rights, including the rights of communities, such as sex workers, people living with HIV/AIDS, and lesbian, gay, and transgender people. She also nurtured and supported countless women and men of all ages the world over, inspiring many, both directly and by example, to challenge abusive authority at the local, national and international levels.

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Bracegirdle and the Early LSSP in Anti-Colonial Thrusts

Vinod Moonesinghe, courtesy of Roar, 21 May 2017, where the title reads “Bracegirdle: The Young Anglo-Australian Behind Sri Lanka’s Independence Struggle”

After the Matale Revolt of 1848, the independence struggle in Sri Lanka was quiescent until the 1930s. Only in 1931 did the short-lived Jaffna Youth Congress call for total independence (poorana swaraj) and boycotted the general election.However, in far-away America, a young Sri Lankan student, Philip Gunawardena, had already joined the League Against Imperialism and For National Independence, an international organisation committed to the complete national independence of the colonial and semi-colonial peoples, including Sri Lankans. He later went to Britain and worked for the League. He belonged to a Sri Lankan group called the “Cosmopolitan Crew”, mainly students such as himself, including N. M. Perera, Colvin R. de Silva and Leslie Goonewardena.

Bracegirdle with L.S.S.P. leaders in Horana. Image courtesy Victor Ivan

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Diplomatic Immunity: The International Protocols

Jeevan Thiagarajah, in Daily News, 8 December 2019, with this title “Fiplomatic Immunity in International Law”

This article is an effort to pull out international and national norms applicable to those working in diplomatic missions and by extension having diplomatic status. Although the emergence of diplomatic protections stretches back to antiquity, they are largely codified into law in the modern era. These protections are based mainly on the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, with the former regulating conduct with top diplomats such as embassy staff; and the latter lower-rank diplomatic officials.

Why are diplomats, no matter how sensitive their job, conferred almost limitless immunity from law? The answer goes centuries back.

The Vienna Convention on International Relations

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