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* Professional Web Journalists' Association in Sri Lanka speaks against blocking of local news website
Sun, Dec 8, 2013, 10:38 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 08, Colombo: The Professional Web Journalists' Association (PWJA) of Sri Lanka says that the blocking of a local website is part of a 'selective curbing of access to internet news.'

Issuing a statement on the blocking of SriLankaMirror website, Convener of the PWJA, Freddy Gamage noted that over half a dozen websites from Tamilnet, Sri Lankan Guardian, LankaeNews that carry news and information on Sri Lanka and interactive participation by readers have been blocked from resident Sri Lankan citizens and in this selective curbing of access to internet news, the latest victim is SriLankaMirror (SLM).

"While the Media Ministry insists web sites operating from within Sri Lanka and provide news and information on Sri Lanka should be registered with the ministry, there is absolutely no such legal binding for web news as there is for print and electronic media. Nevertheless, SLM was one of the first Sri Lankan news website to oblige the media ministry request, but had been at the receiving end with CID raids, indictments and now total blocking of the website, for their comparatively independent stance on reporting news and events, the media release adds," the PWJA said.

The Association added, "In a media culture that had been coerced to follow the leader where occasionally and ethically editors and journalists feel reluctant to fall in line with the regime, the growing internet culture is seen as a new threat to its continued rule of the land with massive corruption, fraud, money laundering and nepotism."

According to the PWJA, it is the duty and the right of the Sri Lankan people as Citizens of the Commonwealth of Nations to demand the Head of State of Sri Lanka as the new chair in office of the CW for the next two years, honor all democratic pledges adopted unanimously and signed into as a member country.

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