Media Releases
A collection of press releases
issued by CHR

Blocking web sites; restricting the already limited space for alternative voices

2011 Jun 21

Centre for Human Rights (CHR) has serious concerns about blocking Groundviews, Vikalpa and the
Transparency International websites, who act as alternative voices, by Sri Lanka Telecom.

At a time when there is serious censorship and self censorship in the main stream media; web sites ave become an alternative space for public discussion about sensitive issues. The websites mentioned above are spaces where serious, sometimes controversial, discussions are carried out by intellectuals and hose who are politically sensitive, both pro and anti government.

However in the recent past wehave seen efforts by the government to block websites and Groundviews, Vikalpa and the ransparency International web sites have become the latest victims of this.Lanka Freedom, the news website of CHR, was hacked on June 09 and Campaign for Free and Fair lections (CaFFE) website was blocked four times. Although we have written to Sri Lanka Telecom18 months ago they have not even acknowledged our complaints through a letter. Lanka Guardian, run by Asian Human Rights Commission, Lanka E news, Lanka News Web and TamilNet are amongother websites blocked in Sri Lanka.

By sporadically blocking these websites the authorities are trying to intimidate the organizations hich are operating these and is attempting to stop the flow of new ideas to the society. Freedom ofexpression is a right guaranteed by our constitution and the right to information is rapidly becoming right universally acknowledged.

Therefore CHR condemns the actions of Sri Lanka Telecom andthe government and ask all citizens and local and international civil society organizations to opposethis attempt to restrict our right to free expression and information.

Surangi Ariyawansa                               Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon
Director/Media                                      Executive Director/CHR Sri Lanka
June, 21, 2011

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