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* UN calls for freedom in accessing websites and other sources of information in Sri Lanka
Sat, Mar 1, 2014, 09:41 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 01, New York: The Secretary-General of United Nations considers freedom of expression to be very important and believes that there should be freedom to access websites and information on the Internet, his spokesperson Martin Nesirky said Friday.

Responding to a press query about press freedom in Sri Lanka, Nesirky noted that the Secretary-General believes that, as a general principle, freedom of expression is very important, including access to websites and other sources of information.

He was responding to a question raised by the blog site Inner City Press on a claim that the website of a Sri Lankan publication called Colombo Telegraph has been blocked in the country and asked what the view of the UN country team in Sri Lanka on particular publications in the country.

The spokesman said the UN country team in Colombo briefs the sections of the UN system that they represent but they have not reported any issues of blocked media websites.

He said he has no direct link to the UN country team in Colombo and he is unable to deliver the UN country team's view.

"Well, I don't have a direct link right now to the, so I can't answer for them. But, they will be reporting back, of course, to the various parts of the UN system they represent."

"And with regard to the Secretary-General, I would not characterize his own views on this particular matter, except to speak in more general terms that freedom of expression is something that we consider to be very important. And that includes free access to websites and information on the Internet," Nesirky said.

Colombo Telegraph says the Sri Lankan government has blocked its site in Sri Lanka and the privately owned Telecommunication companies Dialog and Etisalat have tampered DNS responses.

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