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UMF condemns banning of web sites

2011 Nov 11

United Media Forum (UMF) has condemned the government of Sri Lanka for banning and blocking seven web sites, restricting the freedom of expression and public’s right to information.

The blocked web sites without forewarning include Sri Lanka Mirror, Gossip 9, Paparazzi, Lanka Guardian and Lankawenews. The sites were blocked by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission on the directives of the Ministry of Mass Media and Information. The government had also taken steps to block Lanka News and Lanka e-news.

The UMF said that it was another one of a series of actions by the ruling regime to suppress democracy and media freedom including abducting, killing and assaulting journalists and attacking media institutions.

According to the UMF the blocked web sites had revealed a series of corruption and arbitrary use of power by government politicians. The self imposed restrictions by the state media not to adhere to transparency and consistency had made those web sites popular among the public as one of the few sources of truth.A release issued by the Government Information Department had stated that action had to be taken against those web sites due to their unfavourable publications about the president of Sri Lanka and other top government politicians assassinating their characters.

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