The Lanka Academic

VOL. 9, NO. 211


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T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Media Groups to Challenge New Restrictions
IPS, Nov 3. COLOMBO, Nov 3 (IPS) - Media groups in Sri Lanka, already restricted from covering the war against Tamil rebels in the north, are bracing to challenge new regulations that seek to control television broadcasting and new media.

The new rules, announced on Oct. 27, control content not only for broadcast but also MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service), a form of news dissemination that is rapidly gaining in popularity. Newspapers on the weekend also reported government plans to bring in similar rules for radio broadcasting.

"Censorship, there is no doubt about it," warned Sunanda Deshapriya, spokesman for Sri Lanka's Free Media Movement (FMM), the most vibrant of several associations representing journalists, publishers and private broadcasters.

Deshapriya told IPS that media groups and civil society organisations plan to challenge the regulations in the Supreme Court before Nov. 10, the deadline for objections before the regulations take effect.

"These are draconian and repressive rules never before enforced in Sri Lanka," another journalist, who declined to be named, said. "For any excuse they (authorities) can cancel the licence, and if a news item is seen to be unfavourable to the government."

The new regulations provide the media minister, as the regulator, with powers to cancel licenses if content is ‘’detrimental to the interests of a national security; incites a break-down of public order; incites ethnic, religious or cultural hatred; is morally offensive or indecent; is detrimental to the rights and privileges of children’’, among other restrictions.

In a statement, the FMM said the ‘Private Television Broadcasting Station Regulations’, seek to control new technology and bar foreigners from operating stations. Members of political parties may not seek licenses and the validity of all licenses are limited to one year. More... Discuss this story
Published: Sun Nov 2 23:29:56 EST 2008

India discusses relief modalities with Sri Lanka
IANS, Nov 2. Sri Lanka and India have set the ball rolling to implement the agreement arrived at in New Delhi to supply food and other essentials to the war-affected people in the island's north, diplomatic sources here said.

Senior presidential advisor Basil Rajapaksa, who was in New Delhi last week and held talks with Indian leaders as the special envoy of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, convened a meeting here Friday to discuss the relief supply situation in the northern Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts.

According to diplomatic sources, Indian High Commissioner in Colombo Alok Prasad attended the meet and "expressed India's readiness to supply food stocks, tents and other items to displaced people" in the restive north.

"The high commissioner attended this meeting Friday and discussed about the modalities to send the relief supply to the war-displaced people. The details are being worked out," an Indian diplomat here told IANS Sunday.

He refused to divulge further details of the meeting. More...Discuss this story
Published: Sun Nov 2 11:33:43 EST 2008 Back to the top

Sri Lanka economy, rupee at risk from deficit, foreign debt: IMF
et, nov 2. OLOMBO: Sri Lanka's overvalued currency, reliance on foreign borrowing and poor management of the budget are putting the island's economy at "ser ious risk", the International Monetary Fund said on Sunday.

The island, which is in the midst of a long-running war with ethnic Tamil Tiger rebels, could have inflation of 23.9 percent by the end of 2008, the IMF said in its just released annual assessment on Sri Lanka.

"Directors expressed concern that the combined build-up of macro economic imbalances, balance sheet vulnerabilities, high inflation, and external financing pressures poses serious risks to economic stability," the report said. More...Discuss this story
Published: Sun Nov 2 11:41:57 EST 2008 Back to the top

Sri Lanka war flares with air, sea battles, Nov 2. COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's air force on Sunday bombed a Tamil Tiger training base in the Indian Ocean nation's northern jungles, a day after a fierce sea battle killed 18 insurgents, the military said... Back to the top

93 arrested for suspected terrorist connections in Sri Lanka
Xinhua, Nov. 2. OLOMBO, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- At least 93 people were arrested for suspicious terrorist connections in a north western village in Sri Lanka on Sunday, the police said. The police arrested all of these people in the village of Kalpitiya, about 165 km from the capital Colombo, the police said... Back to the top

Tamils issue:'DMK should have exerted more pressure on Centre'
PTI, November 2,. New Delhi (PTI): Accusing the Tamil Nadu Government of not exerting "much" pressure on the Centre over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, the CPI on Sunday said it will reach out to like-minded parties to press the state administration to convene another all-party meeting on the matter... Back to the top

Sri Lanka says 17 rebels killed in sea clash
Associated Press, Sat November 1, 2008 08:31 EDT . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's navy fought a fierce battle Saturday against Tamil Tigers in the northern sea, destroying six rebel boats and killing 17 guerrillas with the help of air strikes by military bomber planes, military officials said... Back to the top

No military solution to Sri Lanka problem: Karat, Nove., 1, 2008. Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: While urging the Indian government to impress upon Colombo “to pursue a political solution of the Tamil question so that full autonomy for the Tamil speaking area is provided within a united Sri Lanka,” CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat on Saturday said his party would not support the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in any manner... Back to the top

Sri Lankan military: Jets bomb rebel training camp
Associated Press, Sun November 2, 2008 02:57 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's air force pounded a Tamil Tiger rebel training camp and supply base deep in the northern jungles on Sunday, a day after a fierce sea battle destroyed six rebel boats, the military said... Back to the top

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