22 October, 2020

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Maithri Devises New Mechanism To Block Anti-Government Websites

President Maithripala Sirisena who came to power pledging media freedom, appears to be reconsidering his decision with reports claiming that he is contemplating to ‘regularize’ news website because these sites were taking undue advantage of the media freedom granted to them by the government.

According to a news article in the JVP owned Lanka Truth website, Sirisena has already had a special meeting in this regard with officials of the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRC). During the meeting, Sirisena is reported to have instructed TRC officials to devise a mechanism where all websites which are not registered with the TRC can be blocked.

The development also comes amidst claims by Lanka C News and Lanka News Web Today known to carry anti-government stories that their websites are being blocked. Colombo Telegraph was unable to access the www.lankanewsweb.today website from ISP’s Dialog, Mobitel and SLT, however we were able to access Lanka C News without any issue.lankanewswebtoday

On their Facebook page, Lanka News Web Today in a challenge said that even though their website is blocked, they will upload all stories published in the website on its Facebook page. The website in a post also said, “Patriotic Sri Lankans, during this crucial juncture, use the following methods to connect with us.” They had given several website links including proxy sites how to access the website.

Wimal Weerawansa’s Lanka C News said that their website is being blocked from time to time.

In March this year, Yahapalanaya government ordered all news website operating in Sri Lanka to register with the Ministry of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media before March 31, 2016, and warned that any website that fails to register will be considered ‘unlawful.’ This was the same policy that was brought in by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was notorious for blocking news websites including Colombo Telegraph.

Related posts:

Mobitel Blocks Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Website

Keep The Promise, Protect Internet Freedom In Sri Lanka: Worldwide Free Expression Orgs Urge Mangala

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Latest comments

  • 7
    1

    President Maithripala Sirisena, Gamarala,

    “President Maithripala Sirisena who came to power pledging media freedom, appears to be reconsidering his decision with reports claiming that he is contemplating to ‘regularize’ news website because these sites were taking undue advantage of the media freedom granted to them by the government.”

    Telling the truth is undue advantage? What do you want to hide?

    What is your problem? Try to be a good sport and deal with it.

    Do you want to be like the Catholic Church and Block Publication of any book that says that the Earth Spins and goes around the Sun, as opposed to the Church’s teachings and Joshua Revelation in the Bible? Are you still stuck on the Deepaweamsa and Mahawamsa Myths?

    People have a right to know the truth and you have an obligation to tell the truth.

    The Truth is that Sinhala, Tamils, Muslims, Malays, Portuguese etc. are Para-Sinhala Para-Tamils, Para-Muslims, Para-Malays, Para-Portuguese etc. in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho.

    Mitochondrial DNA history of Sri Lankan ethnic people:

    Journal of Human Genetics (2014) 59, 28–36; doi:10.1038/jhg.2013.112; published online 7 November 2013

    Through a comparison with the mtDNA HVS-1 and part of HVS-2 of Indian database, both Tamils and Sinhalese clusters were affiliated with Indian subcontinent populations than Vedda people who are believed to be the native population of the island of Sri Lanka.

    http://www.nature.com/jhg/journal/v59/n1/full/jhg2013112a.html

    • 3
      6

      dont attack him as a gamarala … he has been making every effort to do the other way around in terms of removing the bad thoughts long being established in the stupid mind sets of the gulliable folks.

      May be some idiotic statements against them the DUO in the air, they psychologically feel no good, but you guys should raise the question, some degree of censur to media is in function in Germany, UK and the like developed world too.

      I respect the both leaders for having made it to leave party politics and send the message across the Country/GLOBE that consensual politics can make us closer to sustainable peace in this country/nation filled with more idiots than the healthy people.

      ALone his participation as a president in the rival parties celebrations make me very happy.

      Had he been away from that celebrations, the message would have been totally different.

      [Edited out] Rajakashe too could take part to show the world, we have given up party politics by today, we only go against abuses, racism, corruption etc.

      If the nation to be lifted to civilized levels, we have no other choice than workin together BASTA

    • 1
      6

      Amarasiri,

      In theory, media freedom is good. In practice, most people are incapable of making an informed judgement, when given access to multiple sources with differing viewpoints. What happens in practice amounts to confirmation bias. So if one is a supporter of the LTTE, he is more likely to read pro-LTTE websites than Sri Lankan Government websites. And a similar phenomenon for pro-government supporters.

      • 2
        1

        Lester

        “In theory, media freedom is good. In practice, most people are incapable of making an informed judgement, when given access to multiple sources with differing viewpoints. What happens in practice amounts to confirmation bias.”

        While this is true, what keeps it in check is that those who are in power should realize that one day it could be found out..if they try to hide and have done something wrong. If nothing wrong, no issue, or can disclose and move on. It is the initial hiding, and cover-up that makes its worse.

        They need to learn to be good sports.

        Ask Richard Nixon ( too late, he is dead now) and the Watergate scandal.

        • 2
          2

          Correct, Amarasiri. The media creates awareness. Although, it may not be the ideal kind of awareness. Journalism to a large extent relies on an element of sensationalism; readership is very much relative to how well you “spin” the story. Many readers are not sufficiently well-informed to give the “spin” any meaningful context. Therefore, they draw false conclusions.

    • 5
      1

      Maithri plans to do away a social justice tool that reaches the poor.

      Will the UN asslickers applaud him??

      In an age where the flow of information is thicker, faster and immeasurably interconnected, an emphasis should be made on the importance of knowing how to read the media. Since media and freedom of speech are pillars of democracy and therefore of all the political rights embodied in such a regime, dysfunctional media literacy could mislead the consolidation and enrichment of a democracy.

      Media literacy is a means for achieving a better society. It is a movement concerned with the formation of engaged citizens that aim to be aware of their role as global citizens, respect and value diversity, understand how the world works (socially, culturally, politically, economically, technologically, environmentally), participate in and contribute to communities on both a local and global level, act to make the world a more sustainable place, and take responsibility for their actions (Mihailidis, 2013).

      It is through media literacy that political and social change can be achieved because a sense of community is developed and allows the possibility of activism through social media networks. This model fosters agency as the central role of an engaged citizen who will act to improve a particular issue of interest such as human rights abuses and in particular, child brides as an act of child abuse.

    • 1
      0

      Amarasiri

      Just surprised that you didn’t end your comment with a footnote on the average IQ of lankans. I assumed that’s something you copy-pasted wherever you posted, regardless of its relevance.

  • 15
    2

    Shame on Maithri, continuing to prove that his promises are not worth a shite.

    We didn’t vote these guys in to replace the former worthless crooks only to experience a slowly progressing Deja Vu.

    Let’s hope that sanity will prevail and Maithri will realize that “karma is a bitch” whose bite will end his tenure and relegate him to the dustbin of history (just like his predecessor).

  • 12
    2

    Running scared. . He is….

    • 3
      1

      Words – Just like his former boss (and yours)????

      Where were you when MR was the champion of censorship and blocking websites – not to mention the killing of journalists by his assassins?

  • 10
    2

    people will start wondering then what is the difference between yahapalanaya and mahinda chintanaya.It will be like munche and maliban becoming the same brand.

    then it will be only a short time before the white vans,this time black vans with Hiruniker operating them start abducting folks who are having extra marital affairs,and the news will have nothing of it with the people blissfully unaware of the dangers that they have gain been put in.At least 50% of the males in the country will get abducted for extra marital affairs and given ‘advice’ with a complementary beating by hiruniker.

  • 2
    8

    “President Maithripala Sirisena who came to power pledging media freedom, appears to be reconsidering his decision with reports claiming that he is contemplating to ‘regularize’ news website because these sites were taking undue advantage of the media freedom granted to them by the government.”

    I totally agree that such sites were taking unfair and undue advantage of the new freedom they were now enjoying. The owners of these websites failed to show responsibility in advising their editors the need for moderation. Instead they were allowed the freedom of the wild ass and they went on a rampage. This included Colombo Telegraph.

    On several occasions the President’s daughter was pilloried simply for being invited as Chief Guest for some function or the other and having graced such occasions. Such criticism was seen by neutral observers as extremely unfair even then.

    Having said all of above, IF the President is indeed inclined to go in this direction, it will only be a matter of time before he too digs his own grave, simply because it is a wrong decision; in fact a very poor one.

    • 0
      2

      I am not surprised at the reader’s reaction.

      Many, simply vent their anger on the President at not having been able to do the same on MR in these columns with the same freedom and safety.

      The symptom is called “Frustration”.

  • 0
    0

    I started using web based proxies ever since MR gov blocked TamilNet. If any website is blocked by the authorities simply due to being anti-government then you can easily unblock them by:

    Using online bypass proxy like filterbypass.me, 3.hidemyass.com and many more
    Using the Tor Browser – Can download it from torproject.org
    Using a free VPN like CyberGhost, HotSpot Shield etc.

    Easiest is the online proxy but has limitations.

    If you are a journalist, whistle-blower or any kind of rights-activists that might be branded anti-government, it is best if you protect yourself. Use a combination of VPN + Tor, File shredders and other anti-recovery tools to wipe data from storage and most importantly hide you research in a “Hidden Encrypted Volume”. VeraCrypt is freely available – sourceforge.net/projects/veracrypt/

    • 2
      0

      even if your hard drive (non plastic tape) is burnt the data can be recovered and that is a different branch from web design. The internet provider would have a copy and very soon the government is going to ask the provider to keep copies as as happened in the UK. high encryption can also be unencrypted and there are programs for it too.

  • 7
    2

    President Maithripala Sirisena

    If you are scared of media freedom then of course you are scared of your own shadow.

    Please build a few intercontinental ballistic missiles and a few thousand nuclear bombs to protect your bump.

    “I don’t agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

    Voltaire/Evelyn Beatrice Hall

    • 0
      1

      Dumb NAtive Veddo:

      There is no media in Sri lanka. It is some presstitutes who upload articles or write articles for money.

      they don’t have any honesty or journalistic integrity.

      • 4
        0

        jim softy

        “they don’t have any honesty or journalistic integrity.”

        Are you an insider?

  • 2
    0

    All these heads if state etc. who are politicians, seem to consult the bureaucrats for solutions to their “problems”, mainly, the adverse publicity. The bureaucrats would lead them up the garden path, namely, “censorship” or in the electronic domain, web-site blocking. The main arm of this exercise is the Telecomunication Regulatory Commission which instead of reducing the serious communication divide in the country, keeps on collecting money. Some say it has a reserve of 50 Billion Rupees. No wonder, Jarapassa’s clan syphoned 600 Million Rupees out of that and it is rumoured that 100 Million Rupees was pinched out of it recently by the powers that may be.

    During Jarapassa times, Presidential Secretary, a Civil Servant was the Chairman. So it is even now during MY3 times. The Director General, who should be a professional who should know the subject happens to be another Civil Servant (or former) even during Jarapassa times and even MY3 times. Whether it is then or now, what the opportunisitic Director Generals who do not know the subject do, is to seek favours from service providers to enrich themsleves. In one case it is rumoured that they got property as gifts from a so called electronic broadcaster and a thuggish brother of a politician who is now required to pay the ultimate price. In another case the son was given employment by a telecom provider.

    So we see how power corrupts individuals and politicians who follow the lead would also become aberrated. POLITICIANS MUST KNOW TO PLAY THE POLITICAL GAME WITHOUT CENSORING THE MEDIA OR ABDUCTING/MURDERING MEDIA PERSONNEL.

  • 3
    0

    Democracy goes hand in hand with freedom of expression. Anyone removing the freedom of expression from this is effectively killing the democracy. Is Sirisena attempting to subjugate decent? Every citizen has the right to do politics and the govt must have the courage to listen to all sides of a debate whether they agree or not. Only then will be the true sense of YAHAPALANAYA.

  • 0
    0

    Running scared……….. greed for power…….. closing up ones skeletoned closet…….. What is it for??????

    This is Yahapalanaya Democracy or DEMO CRAZY ??????????
    Or Worldwide friends Yaha Palana gimmick?

    The dagger is from under the White Cloak

  • 0
    0

    Dear Mr.President,

    While you’re at it, can you also block all porn websites. Please

  • 1
    0

    Lying in public must be stopped by law as it is the worst crime Rajapakse maintained power for 11 years with ace liars
    If a legal mechanism is not possible in the new constitution
    this has \to be done technically
    Lying is the worst crime

  • 1
    0

    Once again its the fault of the govt. as they opened the doors fully
    to report on anything and everything happening in the country without
    any supervision or restrictions. The govt. was initially happy as many
    web sides and tabloids blasted the former regime as expected for the
    atrocities committee during their period but surprisingly ,the tide has now changed as the Jnt. opposition members are no fools.They took the press freedom into their hands and got the mushroom media outlets, paying large sums of monies of course to them , to lash out at the govt. activities, often giving false reports. Special Emphasis is placed on reporting on touchy subjects like religion, lands and Tamil issues and instigate the majority community to revolt against the Govt., brainwashing the people to belief that Buddhism and security
    of the land is not in the safe hands.
    Though it is a little too late or tolerated anti govt.media reporting
    little too long, the President is doing the right thing to ‘regularise’
    news outlets as these outlets are taking undue advantage of the media
    freedom granted to them. They were clamouring for media freedom for a
    long time and once it was given in good faith, they turned their backs
    to the govt. by reporting false reports to demean the current govt.to
    please those who fund them.

    Eager to see some kind of legislation passed in parliament soon to
    control the media from false reporting. It will become a difficult
    task for the govt. to build up reconciliation efforts unless media
    works for it and not against it and if such legislation comes into
    effect, media should be satisfied as they asked for it.

  • 5
    0

    Did Maithripala need the media to become president No> he was the nominee of the Baldi Buddhist that nicked the common candidate portfolio of media.
    Monk’s are the animals of our civilisation and folk worship them.
    Did anyone of the so called educated think of ` no confidence` no they are the boot lickers more than being intelligentsia or academics.

    Maithri did not mention Tamil and Muslim but they voted 100% in his favour.

    Maithri asked the Sinhalese for the vote and he received less Sinhala votes.

    So the less he asks the chances of winning are better- So he gags the media.

    Very soon the white vans or Hiruknickers defender will come after the media.
    MR2 in just growing into the animal that would surpass Passa.

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