Monday, September 7, 2009

Reporting the Facts; Free Speech Isn't Free

Nothing has ever been easy for anyone including reporters in Sri Lanka when it comes to human rights or freedom of speech. According to the link to this post:
"SRI LANKA was always a hard place for hacks; but by any standards, 20 years’ jail is a harsh penalty for a newsman doing his job. That term was meted out this week to J.S. Tissainayagam on terrorism charges, after he criticized the army’s treatment of Tamil civilians. The government says he stoked ethnic discord with false reports; human-rights groups say the state is cracking down harder in an already dire environment. Some 14 journalists have been killed in Sri Lanka since 2006."

This is a human rights disaster! As of right now, US relations with Sri Lanka are strongly linked to IDP's, otherwise known as Internally Displaced Persons.
At the previous link you will find an article entitled :US pledges support to resettle IDP's [September 03, 2009]. ""We strongly support the desire of the government of Sri Lanka to return internally displaced persons to their homes safely and quickly so they can begin to rebuild their communities,” the editorial of the Voice of America reported quoting James R. Moore, US Charge d'affaires."
The problems are beyond rationality in this country, and have been growing like weeds in a garden. For human rights watch groups it has become a "nightmare while awake". Furthermore for the United States, the State Department Country Report is at best grim:2008 Human Rights Report: Sri Lanka.
"The government's respect for human rights declined as armed conflict escalated. The overwhelming majority of victims of human rights violations, such as killings and disappearances, were young male Tamils, while Tamils were only 16 percent of the overall population. Credible reports cited unlawful killings by paramilitaries and others believed to be working with the awareness of the government, assassinations by unknown perpetrators, politically motivated killings, the continuing use of child soldiers by a paramilitary force associated with the government, disappearances, arbitrary arrests and detention, poor prison conditions, denial of fair public trial, government corruption and lack of transparency, infringement of freedom of movement, and discrimination against minorities. Pro- government paramilitary groups were credibly alleged to have participated in armed attacks against civilians and practiced torture, kidnapping, hostage-taking, and extortion with impunity. During the year, no military, police or paramilitary members were convicted of any domestic human rights abuse."

Have you asked yourself , how can this be happening? Not exactly a promising country to reside I would say. Yet they still have journalists that literally put themselves in the way of possible prison; or even death; to report on how bad it really is for the non- respect for human life. Somehow, some way ,the rest of the world needs to step up the advocacy for the people in this forsaken land.



  1. Sometimes, it's sad to know the facts. Let there be peace!

  2. my friend you are truly full of courage and compassion, if caught sending this, will you remain safe?
    I write on much lighter topics, bumped into you quite by accident, best wishes and please stay in touch.

  3. plainolebob, If i am not safe in the US where would I be safe?


    Any easier to read?


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