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Defence ministry brands media as “internal enemy” in war against Tamil Tigers

first_img News Receive email alerts Sri LankaAsia – Pacific Organisation News Help by sharing this information Sri LankaAsia – Pacific Sri Lanka: tamil reporter held on absurd terrorism charge June 7, 2008 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Defence ministry brands media as “internal enemy” in war against Tamil Tigers News July 15, 2020 Find out morecenter_img News Sri Lanka: Journalist manhandled by notorious police inspector currently on trial Follow the news on Sri Lanka Reporters Without Borders condemns a defence ministry campaign against independent news media, especially journalists who cover military affairs. The ministry’s website is carrying virulent attacks on journalists critical of the government, accusing them of being in cahoots with the “terrorist enemy,” the Tamil Tiger rebels.“While the civil war continues to claim innocent victims in both communities, defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is lambasting journalists who do not toe the line of his propaganda,” the press freedom organisation said. “He is directly threatening the safety of journalists by accusing them of agreeing with the enemy. The government has turned Manicheism into a state doctrine in which those not with the army are deemed to be with the Tamil Tigers.”Reporters Without Borders added: “We call on President Mahinda Rajapaksa to restore trust and serenity to the government’s relations with the press.”Two long articles – headlined “Stop media treachery against armed forces members!” and “Deriding the war heroes for a living – the ugly face of defence analysts in Sri Lanka” – were recently posed on the ministry’s website, attacking news media that dare to contradict official press releases about the fighting in the north of the country.By blaming journalists for the military’s failure to “eradicate the LTTE terrorists,” the articles directly expose them to the possibility of reprisals. “Media freedom in this country has been encroached upon by few sociopaths that can be found in almost all anti-Sri Lankan outfits,” the website says.Many local news media, including Sirasa TV, the Daily Mirror and the Sunday Times, and the Free Media Movement (FMM), a local NGO that defends press freedom are explicitly accused of sowing discord within the armed forces in their articles and statements. “Whoever lures disgruntled members of the armed forces to act against the good order and the military discipline of the service is committing treachery against the nation,” the site says.The defence ministry also accuses the press of putting out false information although the army itself has often tried to minimise its losses, for example, after one of the most violent clashes in recent years in the Jaffna peninsula last April.Pressure on the independent media is mounting amid repeated incursions by the security forces into LTTE-controlled areas and deadly bombings in the Colombo region that are blamed on the Tamil Tigers.Keith Noyahr, assistant editor and defence correspondent of the English-language weekly The Nation, was kidnapped and beaten on 22 May in an attack apparently linked to his reporting on the government’s counter-insurgency campaign. TV reporter Paranirupasingam Devakumar and a friend were murdered six days later in an area of the Jaffna peninsula that is under military control. No suspect has been arrested.Iqbal Athas, a reporter who specialises in military affairs, stopped writing articles for the Sunday Times several weeks ago after being the target of a campaign of intimidation. According to the Free Media Movement, Sirimevan Kasthuriarachchi, a journalist who does defence reporting for the newspaper Divaina, was threatened with reprisals by thugs who forced their way into his home on 29 May. Frederica Jansz, the publisher of the monthly Montage and a contributor to The Nation, was followed by suspicious-looking vehicles in Colombo a week ago and the body of a bird was found outside her home in what might have been another threatening message.Press freedom activists have also been the target of intimidation. On 27 May, soldiers went to the Colombo headquarters of the Sri Lanka Press Institute, an organisation that is respected for its defence of media freedom, and asked for the names of its employees.The defence minister was added to the Reporters Without Borders list of “Predators of Press Freedom” on 3 May. Sri Lanka: RSF signs joint statement on attacks against human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists to go further January 13, 2021 Find out more RSF_en July 29, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

G20 vows to avoid ‘unnecessary’ trade barriers

first_imgDisruptions to supply chains could “prolong and exacerbate the health and economic crisis”, the two institutions warned. The G20 on Thursday pledged to avoid “unnecessary” trade barriers on essential goods including food during the coronavirus pandemic, after the WTO and IMF warned over the growing use of export restrictions.The pandemic has pushed the global economy and international trade into turmoil as they face downturns not seen since the Great Depression. Global trade is expected to register “double-digit declines” in volumes in nearly all regions this year, the World Trade Organization has said. G20 trade and investment ministers said export restrictions on vital medical supplies and other essential goods, if necessary, must be “proportionate, transparent, temporary” and must not create “unnecessary barriers to trade or disruption to global supply chains”.Following a virtual meeting hosted by Saudi Arabia, the ministers also pledged to “refrain from introducing export restrictions on agricultural products” and avoid “unnecessary food-stockpiling”.Last month, the International Monetary Fund and WTO expressed concern over possible “supply disruptions” from the growing use of export restrictions that limit trade of key medical supplies and food.They called on global leaders to refrain from imposing such restrictions.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Syracuse suffers dramatic walk-off loss, 9-8, to Virginia in 11 innings

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse (14-8, 3-2 Atlantic Coast) fell to Virginia (9-18, 1-4 Atlantic Coast), 9-8, in 11 innings on Saturday afternoon in Charlottesville, Virginia. After taking a four-run lead in the 10th inning, SU gave up four runs in the bottom of the inning before the Cavaliers’ Lacy Smith hit a walk-off homerun in the 11th. It was the Orange’s longest game of the season, outlasting its 10-inning victory over Grand Canyon on Feb. 18.Syracuse got on the board in the first inning when Bryce Holmgren singled to drive in Alicia Hansen from second base. After suffering her first hitless game in nine games the day before, Holmgren rediscovered her form with an early RBI-single. The Orange added to its lead in the second inning when Lailoni Mayfield doubled to put Hannah Dossett on third base. A batter later, Dossett and Mayfield scored on a wild pitch and fielding error, respectively.After tallying another run through a Mayfield RBI single in the top of the third, SU held a 4-0 advantage. In the bottom of the inning, Virginia’s Molly Keshin tripled down the right-field line and scored on a groundout to second base. UVA pitcher Erika Osherow held SU hitless for the next two innings while her team mounted a three-run fifth inning to tie the game at four.Syracuse pitcher AnnaMarie Gatti started in the circle and held the Cavaliers to two hits in the first four innings. In the fifth, Virginia’s bats woke up, and Gatti was replaced with Alexa Romero after allowing runners to reach second and third. Romero gave up three runs on a sac fly and two hits, and the score was knotted at four.Over the next four innings, the two teams combined for just four hits, as Romero and Osherow remained steady as the game went into extra innings. In the top of the tenth, three walks loaded the bases for Syracuse before Hansen hit a bases-clearing triple to give SU a three-run lead. A batter later, Holmgren singled, giving the Orange its eighth run of the game.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFacing a four-run deficit in the bottom of the tenth, Virginia’s offense went to work. The Cavaliers registered five hits in six batters to make it a one-run game. With runners on second and third, Madi Traver hit a ground ball that was fielded cleanly, thrown home and mishandled by SU catcher Gianna Carideo. The error scored Ashlee Davis to even the score at eight. Romero went on to retire the next two batters, and the game carried into the 11th inning.After giving up four runs in the 10th, Osherow shut down the Orange in the 11th, allowing just one hit. With two outs in the bottom of the inning, Smith won the game on a walk-off solo home run to left center.Syracuse will wrap up its three-game series with Virginia on Sunday at noon. Comments Published on March 17, 2018 at 7:28 pm Contact David: [email protected]last_img read more