Home Urgent alerts Urgent Alert: Major clampdown on Sri Lankan online media

Sri Lankan government has ordered a massive raid on two news websites in a major move to curb Sri Lankan online media. The action came two days after the government's decision to block local access to at least six Tamil news websites operating outside Sri Lanka.
 
The latest incident occurred Friday 29th June around 11.45 am as the office of the news website www.srilankamirror.com and www.srilankaxnews.com was raided by a joint team from the CID (Criminal Investigation Department) and the CCD (Colombo Crime Divison). Out of the two websites, srilankaxnews.com is considered to be the official news website of the Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP).
 
The office which was shared by the two websites was located at number 71, Thotupola road, Athulkotte in Colombo suburbs. Around 09 members of the staff attached to the two websites who were present at the time of the raid, were locked up in the office and questioned before being arrested and taken away. The security officers have also confiscated the computer equipment before sealing off  the premises. The JDS has reliably learnt that the arrested journalists are currently being held at the CID Headquarters in Colombo.
 
Meanwhile, coinciding with the raid, another group of security officers have forcibly entered into the private residence of Mr.Ruwan Ferdinandez, the current Chief Editor of www.srilankaxnews.com. He was also the former Chief Editor of Sri Lanka Mirror website. At the time of the raid Mr.Ferdinendez's  was not present either at his home located at Colombo 05  or at the website office.
 
The names of the arrested staff members are given below:

1. Kelum Shivantha Rodrigo  - Editor, www.srilankamirror.com | Granted bail on Saturday, 30th June
2. Ajith Senevirathne - Photographer, www.srilankamirror.com | Granted bail on Saturday, 30th June
3. Tharindu Rajapaksa - Feature writer, www.srilankamirror.com | Granted bail on Saturday, 30th June
4. Himashi Karunarathne - Sports Editor, www.srilankamirror.com Granted bail on Saturday, 30th June
5. Shiranthini Manawadu - Weekend Editor, www.srilankamirror.com | Granted bail on Saturday, 30th June
6. Asanka Nivantha - Marketing manger, www.srilankamirror.com | Granted bail on Saturday, 30th June
7. R.M.Preamawathi - Office helper | Released on Friday, 29th June
8. Siddik Kariyappar - Tamil Editor, www.srilankaxnews.com | Granted bail on Saturday, 30th June
9. Subhash Jayawardane - Features Editor, www.srilankaxnews.com | Granted bail on Saturday, 30th June

Mark your protest. Please send your emails/faxes to:

1. H.E.President Mahinda Rajapaksa
Presidential Secretariat
Colombo 1, Sri Lanka
Fax: +94 11 244 6657
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2. Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa
Secretary - Ministry of Defence and urban development
Tele : +94 11 243 5879
Fax : +94 11 254 1529
E-mail : This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

3. Mr. N K Illangakoon
Inspector General of Police
New Secretariat
Colombo 1
SRI LANKA
Fax: +94 11 2 440440 / 327877
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Executive Committee
Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka

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Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka

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