My lifelong friend
[Sri Lanka raids office of pro-opposition news websites
Posted by Karthiyayini on June 30,2012 in Exclusive, Headlines, News, Sri Lanka · 0 Comments
Colombo, June 30 (TruthDive) : Media freedom has always been a huge concern in Sri Lanka. The country shows its ugly face yet again by showcasing it as one of the world's most dangerous countries for journalists.
An independently running and pro-opposition office of two news websites have been raided by Sri Lankan Police. The Police have arrested nine workers including the editor of one of the websites, searched the premises for about three hours on Friday and seized computers and documents.
A statement from government stated that the police officers had acted on a court order, searched and sealed off the office on Friday. The websites were said to be publishing flawed information and had put a ‘blot on Sri Lanka's image.'
The Opposition United National Party member Mangala Samaraweera said that the office had operated two websites - www.srilankamirror.com and www.srilankaxnews.com that belong to the party. He added that the nine arrested employees were released on bail after an appearance before a magistrate.
Samaraweera said that Friday's raid had been initiated as his party's website had uncovered corruption and other unlawful activity by the government.
Gnanasiri Kottigoda, who heads Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association, stated that the police action showed that the government has not ceased to harass and intimidate independent media institutions and journalists in Sri Lanka. He also opined that it is a step towards silencing the independent media groups in Sri Lanka.
The Committee to Protect Journalists said, in the year 2010, Sri Lanka was ranked as the fourth most dangerous country for journalists. Since the beginning of year 2006, at least 14 Sri Lankan media employees were said to have been killed, according to Amnesty International.
www.srilankamirror.com and four other websites were blocked by authorities last year over so-called character assassination, and the action is still in effect for four others.
www.srilankamirror.com went on to file a case in the Supreme Court after which the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority agreed to unblock the website on condition that it would not provide links to blocked or unregistered sites. Several media rights groups and other countries, including the United States had severely criticized the blocking of the websites by the Sri Lankan government.
To top it all, attacks on media men and media institutions either fail to get properly investigated or blocked, according to Reporters without Borders.]
I was born with you and since in the cradle
We crawled together.
It's not a bed of roses,
My bare-feet very familiar with the thorny painful streets.
Sometimes you hide in my eyes as tears
And often remain as a hug in my weeping heart.
You too starved in my difficult times
And you never betray me that's certain as death.
I realized that you never smile but I embrace you
From the bottom of my heart
And you are my lifelong friend, Sorrow!
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