21 October, 2020

Blog

Colombo Declaration On Media Freedom Signatory Nimal Welgama Blocks Colombo Telegraph

Colombo Telegraph remains inaccessible in Sri Lanka using the website’s regular domain, while no authority has accepted responsibility for the illegal censorship.

secretary to the Ministry of Difence and Welgama

Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) the country’s largest internet service provider (ISP) continues to block Colombo Telegraph even though persistent denials by the Telecom Regulatory Commission that it had ordered the blocking prompted other ISPs like Dialog to remove the blockade last week.

Interestingly, Sri Lanka Telecom Chairman Nimal Welgama who is a signatory to the Colombo Declaration on Media Freedom and Social Responsibility. The Declaration signed in October 2008 calls upon the Government to recognise the Internet as an important space for deliberative democracy, and to extend to it, all such policies as would enhance this space for free speech, and to avoid all policies of banning, blocking, or censoring websites without reasonable grounds.

In the section “Internet” the Declaration states as follows:

  • One of the most significant developments in the last ten years has been the growth of the Internet, which has resulted in the democratization of media and encourage the contribution of non professional journalists in the form of bloggers etc. We acknowledge the contribution of bloggers toward the promotion of free speech and democratic media. We also recognize that bloggers are as susceptible to controls by the state, misuse of their work as traditional print and broadcast media. We take this opportunity to commit our support to responsible bloggers and other new media which is strong and independent.
  • We specifically call on the government to recognize the internet as an important space for deliberative democracy, and extend to it, all such policies as would enhance the space of free speech on the Internet, and to avoid all policies of banning, blocking, or censoring websites without reasonable grounds. There is now a convergence between the traditional print media and the internet, with a number of newspapers being accessed through the internet, and we would strongly urge that all the privilege and protections sought in this declaration be extend to the web editions of newspapers. 

Strength in unity: The revised Colombo Declaration on Media Freedom and Social Responsibility was signed by Ranjit Wijewardene (Newspaper Society), Uvindu Kurukulasuriya (Free Media Movement), Sanath Balasuriya (Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association), and Sinha Ratnatunga (Editors' Guild). Kumar Nadesan, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Press Institute was also present.| Sunday Times Photo Caption

The Newspaper Society of Sri Lanka, The Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka, the Free Media Movement and the Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association were the joint signatories to the Colombo Declaration of 1998, that was revised in 2008 and accepted UNESCO’s Windhoek Declaration that asserts that the right to a free press as a fundamental right of the people, and recognised the fact that the Sri Lankan Government is a signatory to the Colombo Declaration on Media, Development and Poverty Eradication which includes the promotion of a free, pluralistic and independent media committed to social justice and development.

Welgama, now Chairman of SLT the Chairman of Mobitel (Pvt) Ltd. He is also the owner of the Upali Newspapers Ltd. He also a member of Newspaper Society of Sri Lanka and has served as the chairman of the  Newspaper Society of Sri Lanka many times.

Furthermore Welgama by implementing an illegal blockade on an independent website flouts the SLT’s own mission statements, that stipulate the Company “continuously strives to form lasting relationships with stakeholders built on quality, reliability and accountability”.

Readers of Colombo Telegraph are urged to make representations to Sri Lanka Telecom and other Internet Service Providers to either transparently declare which state authority ordered the blocking of the website or cease and desist from violating consumers rights by enforcing an extra-legal censorship.

Few Tweets on CT blocking; 

How to reach the site?

As a quick measure to bypass such filtering we have enforce secure connections to the website, we advise to all readers to reach the site using HTTPS.

https://www.colombotelegraph.com

Related posts;

Colombo Telegraph Blocked, How To Reach Us Now: Sri Lanka Telecom And Mobitel Joins The DPI Club!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    I have seen google articles are being removed, articles in websites coming from US have been removed.

    US media is owned by rich owners. they say exactly what to right or what not to right. If the journalists disobey the order he loses his job. Even the independent webs ties or journalists remain cornered and sidelined if they don’t follow the established rules. Who does not like money and the publicity ?

    • 0
      0

      JimPissa:
      “Who does not like money and the publicity ?” you ask. Most do, but few are obsessed with it and getting it from the Temple Tree place like you are!

    • 0
      0

      Jim, I am in Sri Lanka now accessing via Firefox. tell the TRC and GOTA to go to hell. i have told many how to do and they are reading and you see many will read again which no way Government can stop. Fuck off and we love CT and HAIL CT.

      • 0
        0

        I too am accessing CT via http://www.ninjaproxy.ca or http://www.ninjaproxy.us…from SL ….. too bad Gota and his clowns, though IT specialist can do ONLY little…

        • 0
          0

          correction if anyonne clicked on the links it wont take u coz there are a few….. after the addresses on my earlier post… so try the following. Good Luck.

          http://www.ninjaproxy.ca
          http://www.ninjaproxy.us

    • 0
      0

      @Jimmy, What to right and what not to right is just not the same as what to write and what not to write. By the way, it is easy to frame arguments to suit your purpose and prove a point, but what is more important is to bring credibility to support it. Can you. for instance be more specific since you seem to be monitoring all that is being published and pulled out from the internet to suit US interests? In that case Wikileaks would not have even stood a chance of being born. The only type of censorship I know of coming from the US, is strict military intelligence type information, mainly done to mask the strategies being employed to monitor and maintain extremely high level of homeland security. Everything else is fair game.

    • 0
      0

      I totally agree with Mr. Jim Softy and all Web sites should be banned with Immediate effect. If the General Public wants to know the truth let them watch ITN, Rupawahini, Derana, Sirasa and read Dinamina, Divaina, Daily News, Mawbima, Lankadeepa etc. etc. and only Govt. web sites and Wimal Weerawansa’s Lankacnews more than enough people to know the instant truth about what is happening in the County. Other than that General Public has to trust only what Laxman Hulugalla, Keheliya Rambukwalla, Dallas Allapperuma, Police Spokesman, Army Spokesman says only.

      Everybody in this country knows that 5 persons broke in to the house of world richest Journalist, Mandana Ismail Abewickrama’s house only to rob the valuables. our Police dept. found the real motive of the 5 persons even before they were captured. Now the general public has some other ideas about the incident because of other web sites. They say different stories about broke in and say robbers were looking for a file connected to commission of Rs. 400 Million and Mal Baby has a connection with that. I say, we should not believe that story and believe only what ITN, Rupawahini, Dinamina, Daily News and Police says.

      Our brave Police (Not the Police Officers who raided and killed one robber) Officers found Rs. 50 Laks worth of Jewelries from the Robbers and this world richest Journalist, Mandana says most of the Jewelries are not belongs to her and those are artificial Jewelries. Actually we should believe Police dept. story as Mandana may be afraid to admit that she is so rich. If she accept what Police says, that though guy, Mr.Jagath Balapatabadi will ask explanation as how she gathered such wealth. that is why Mr. Jim Softy and we say that all the web sited should banned.

  • 0
    0

    Jim Softy,

    At least they do not burn you at the stake these days. They just block you.

    Still, the Earth goes around the Sun.

    Why can’t peoples know the facts and the truth?

    So this is not a peoples Govt. It is Govt. for the Maras.

    CT, when they block you, let everybody know, and more and more people will seek CT for the Truth and the facts.

    Myth holders, and liars want to keep promoting their Myths and lies.

    So Welgama is another liar like Laksman Hulugalle or Borugalle pf the Media.

    DeJa Vu. A lie is like a sprint until found out. The truth is a Marathon….goes on and on…

    What did Buddha say about lies and the truth….

  • 0
    0

    Jim Softly,

    It is not clear what your argument is – could you please clarify, which of the following is your view?

    a) The control of the media in the West by the media bosses is the right thing to do, and so, the media control in Sri Lanka by the regime is also the right thing to do, and there is nothing wrong with such control of the media

    or,

    b) What the Western media bosses are doing is wrong, but since they are allowed to do the wrong thing, we also should have the right to do the wrong thing, even though we know it is wrong

  • 0
    0

    The truth hurts. Killing the messenger to hide the truth. Lies and deceit the staple diet of the Sri Lankan masses courtesy Govt Media.

  • 0
    0

    guys you should take legal action.it seems like your right to freedom of expression, and the righty to practice your chosen vocation have been violated. I think the point is whether a website could be blocked without legal authority.

  • 0
    0

    Ha ha ha ! So two wrongs makes aa right? Educated people like Nimal W can do this? What is this country coming to? DISGRACEFULL

  • 0
    0

    CT the sky wouldn’t fall. Let these maroons do whatever they want to please their master but here are very simple technologies available to get over this, if one checks up the web.

  • 0
    0

    Just use any “free Proxies” , hundreds of proxies appear every day.
    Govt. idiots fall far behind time , never ahead of it.

    any article / comments of Ct could have been taken on head if Media Ministry had half a dozen good & knowledgeable writers, not ace donkeys / idiots paid from exchequer, so due to lack of any at Media ministry/ANCL or elsewhere idiots in Govt. blocks CT.

    What a shame.

    This country never gives talented people their due place.

  • 0
    0

    The regular writer Kusal says that media is free in Sri Lanka, what has he got to say with regards to this action? Do you want this article in Brail Kusal?

    • 0
      0

      Yes it is relatively free. A good example is SUNDAY LEADER.

  • 0
    0

    Nimal Welgama is another from that Galkissa Maha Vidyalaya like Rajpal, Rajiva, GL and Neville de Silva who would do anything to “sing for their supper.” Can we expect anything else from them.

  • 0
    0

    Jim Softly: although you say that “US media is owned by rich owners. they say exactly what to right or what not to right (sic). If the journalists disobey the order he loses his job (again sic)” how is that voices of “anti-government policy advocates” like Noam Chomski and the like are published in U.S. media? If the rich owners control the U.S. media like you say, they could easily black out all those “anti-establishment activists.” Then we would not have had any news of “anti-Vietnam War” or “anti-Iraq war” activities from the U.S. Be reasonable in you arguments, and not state what you say just for argument’s sake.

  • 0
    0

    Although I do not agree with the blocking of your website I know that you sometimes have comments of people who know buggerall about newspapers and the life we had had to lead chasing after fantasies and getting hauled up to explain why a journalist is not towing the line of newspaper magnates or parachuted government bootlickers as in my case Lucien Rajakarunanayake/ Aloy Ratnayake and the Editors.
    CT must insist that people do not use pseudonyms like IDIOTIC TAMIL that I sometimes use to be published.

    • 0
      0

      What is this [Edited out] Peter CashieChetty a.k.a. Peter Christie trying to blabber here? He was just a reporter in and out of many
      newspaper offices before he vanished to England. No one noticed he wrote under the foolish name Idiotic Tamil. He is not Tamil anyway.
      Obviously, he has no Computer of his own, which is why we hear him suddenly popping in and making a fool of himself – and then there is total silence from him. Why doesn’t he use polite language as far as he can. With his background and smell – and looks of an Untouchable – I know this is difficult.

      Backlash

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.