14 July, 2020

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Return Dharisha Bastians’ Laptop Immediately And Stop Harassing Her: CPJ Tells Government

Sri Lankan authorities should immediately return journalist Dharisha Bastians’ computer and allow her to report without fear of official harassment, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.On June 9, officials from the Criminal Investigation Department raided Bastians’ home in Colombo, the capital, and seized her laptop in connection to an investigation over the alleged abduction of a Swiss embassy staffer in the city in November, she wrote in a statement shared on Twitter.

Dharisha Bastians

Bastians, a contributor to the New York Times and former editor of the state-run Sunday Observer newspaper, wrote that the officers had a warrant for the laptop, and that they had twice previously tried to confiscate it without a warrant.

Authorities allege that the embassy staffer’s abduction was staged, and accuse Bastians of communicating with the staffer and being linked to the alleged abduction, according to news reports. Bastians left Sri Lanka in November, and the raid was conducted while her family members were living in her home, according to those reports.

“CPJ strongly objects to the seizure of journalist Dharisha Bastians’ laptop and is concerned it could further endanger her sources,” said Aliya Iftikhar, CPJ’s senior Asia researcher. “Sri Lankan authorities should immediately end this intimidation campaign against Bastians, which is clearly retaliation for her critical reporting.”

On June 16, the Colombo Chief Magistrate ordered government analysts to examine whether anything on the laptop had been changed since it was seized, according to those news reports.

In her statement, Bastians said she was concerned about “potential efforts by interested parties to compromise the integrity” of the laptop. She also wrote that Criminal Investigation Department previously obtained her phone records without a warrant and leaked them.

Bastians has reported and written columns on politics, human rights, enforced disappearances, and accountability for journalists who were murdered in Sri Lanka.

In 2018, CPJ reported that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who at the time was in the opposition party and is now the country’s prime minister, publicly named Bastians after she contributed to a New York Times investigation into his failed 2015 presidential campaign.

The Criminal Investigation Department did not respond to CPJ’s emailed request for comment.  Mohan Samaranayake, a spokesperson for President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, did not respond to a request for comment via messaging app. (CPJ)

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  • 1
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

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    • 15
      25

      Truth comes out in “”concerned about “potential efforts by interested parties to compromise the integrity………”” line.
      .
      That means she knows that there is some incriminating evidence are there in that laptop.
      .
      May be a “draft” of “news report” about alleged “staged abduction” written even before staging it.

      .

      • 8
        1

        You think CT readers are stupid not know the truth

        • 0
          0

          Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction

    • 1
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      since I could not realize the untruths being spread in srilanken media on having controlled the virus from spread making records compared ot the west. These are blatant lies. They now try to capitalize the easy targets by misleading them whose knowledge is very low about srilanken mlechcha politics of Rajapakshe
      . Even a 10 year old would realize it easily, if a glass would be filled with water going beyond its volume, all what is excess overflows. To the same manner, European and American hospitals overflew with the infected patients so that the hospital staffs failed to treat all due to lack of personnel. Even staff members had to die in several hospital in Italy and England. Not because they were incompetent but not even the richest country wouuld not be able to treat every patient if the numbers would rapidly increase.

      And it is general knowledge that we know countries belong to island nations could control it better than boarder countries. But politicians and rulers that take decisions should have to have taken them promptly. Newzealand and Thaiwan are best examples. And the border countries such as Vietnam has done it to the best with zero patients that died by the virus infection. The main factor played on the elevation of the numbers of the infected the travellers that travel from one country to another.

      • 1
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        to be ctd,
        .
        But that created a misery by making healthy people unhealthy and leaving them a lurch today. And at the begining ministry of health was not allowed to go for more controll checks under the misleading of the government. Government got enough funds from WHO and other bodies, that are not yet transparent to the nation. Srilankenb media today act as german stasi movement in world war period. They dont allow facts be gone to the people for their adavatanges. According to untold reports, the virus spread had been in the country also at the begining of January. But for their selfish reasons, they just neglected it but did not take due measures, that they should have to have taken earlier. Today they compare it with those countries whose hard winter situation, amidst all various other problems, how they were caught by the numbers of infected compared to the numbers in Srilanka. If Vietnam or other countries that managed it properly becoming champions, would have been right, if they went on self congradulating but srilankens are wrong to do fake info spread for their political survival.

  • 30
    9

    That is called ” Mardhanaya” Suppression as was the case with Fedrika Janz. Rajakashes are not tolerant to any kind of open criticisms. Crime genes are in them for some reasons.

    • 14
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      leelagemalli
      “Crime genes are in them for some reasons.”

      Rajapakshes do not have ‘Crime Genes’ with them. They have ‘Crime Suppression’ genes. That is why they risked their lives to eliminate LTTE Tamil criminals who slaughtered Sinhalayo for three decades. None of the leaders before them had those genes. They were a bunch of cowards. One guy was such a shameless coward that he handed over one third of the country to a megalomaniac terrorist leader. Sinhalayo are proud to have leaders like Rajapakshes.

      • 8
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        Eagle Eye,

        As usual a brilliant response.

        • 17
          4

          RAVI PERERA
          The Sinhala Speaking Demela

          “As usual a brilliant response.”
          FYI
          You got everything wrong.
          Brilliant does not mean
          dark, gloomy, dull, stupid, untalented, ……………..

          However brilliant means:

          bright, shining, blazing, dazzling, light, vivid, intense, ablaze, beaming, gleaming, glaring, luminous, lustrous, luminescent, radiant, incandescent
          phosphorescent, scintillating, resplendent, irradiant, lucent, effulgent, refulgent, fulgent, lucid, glistering, coruscating, lambent, fulgurant, fulgurating, …..
          or
          gifted, talented, virtuoso, genius, accomplished, ingenious, masterly, inventive, creative, intelligent, bright, clever, smart, astute, acute, brainy, intellectual, profound, skilful, able, expert, adept, elite, superior, crack, choice, first-class,
          first-rate, excellent, educated, scholarly, learned, erudite, cerebral, precocious
          whip-smart, …………………..

          You should always check your dictionary.

          • 9
            2

            RAVI PERERA
            The Sinhala Speaking Demela

            I have loads of question for you about prospect of having a Hindo China war.

            Do you think Hindia will be able to begin to fight a war with China given that the bata wearing boys beaten them up severely in 1987-91 evicted the IPKF from this island while Shavendra was hiding behind VP’s bump or mostly in president security details.?

            Which side are your Ranavirus (Gota, Shavendra, Kamal, ………. WW, SJ) planning to support in the forth coming war?
            Remember SiriMavo supported Pakistan in 1971 when a New Country was created and Pakistan lost a large chunk of land.

            Lets see if Gota supported China, will Tibet free itself from peacefully rising middle kingdom.

            Take care.
            Corona is not LTTE, it kills people irrespective of race, religion, region, ….. being Ranaviruses.

      • 17
        6

        How about our Monks, thugs, police and Army who have been killing the innocent Tamil brethren for almost 70 years starting from 1956 in Gal oya

        • 6
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          Dilshan,
          Sinhalayo are not that stupid to kill Demalu when Sinhala was declared as the official language replacing English introduced by Brits or when the English letters in car number plate was replaced by a Sinhala letter ‘Sri’. It was ‘Para’ Demalu who started killing Sinhalayo to express their anger against measures taken by Sinhalayo to regain their freedom taken away by colonial parasites in a Democratic and peaceful manner.

          What happened to Sinhalayo in Yapanaya?
          What happened to Sinhala school in Yapanaya?

          • 6
            2

            They did not kill sinhalayo. They staged non violent protest in Galle face
            Our thugs with the support of police beat them up
            Then our thugs carved with knife Sinhala Sri in the chest of Tamil women in broad daylight police giving protection to thugs.
            Read history do not jabber and twist it

            Sinhalayo in Jaffna doing well until 1983. Even then they were not harmed.They returned.
            Do not be racist.be a human

          • 3
            1

            Eagle BRAIN dead@

            Did not you remember the manner sinhalayo killed those innocient tamils in 1983?

            I still remember WHAT my elder sister explained it to me, … the manner, high criminals of Rajakashe nature, hurt the innoicent tamils … just becasue they were tamils by birth ?.. marapiyak.. gahapiyaw korapiyawa.. were the aggressive words, that my own sister could not forget even the years passed …. and she also knew a dozen of families that became wealthy in Kiribathgoda areas, through the stolen funds from the those shop keepers. …
            .
            And not that long ago, immediately after EASTER bomb blast killed over 270 innocient worshipers injuring over 700 hundreds. what so called sinhala extreme groups led by that WADAYAKAYA- Madhumadhawa and Iraj Weeratne , demolished the livelyhood of the innocient Muslim famlies…. ironically these men are wearing the BANNER – SINHALA BUDDHIST also covering their penises.
            :
            I know demented men of your nature would not care much but go on being selfadlated for no reasons, but if we would please focus on the facts, those sinhalaya are the born murderers to destroy this nation. I think we need to stand agains thtem.. I am ashamed to call me sinhalaya… but we have no other choice, so long majority of people would stay drinking punnaku for various reasons.

      • 8
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        EE; It seems your pen name suits you very much. Eagles’ eyes are larger in size than their brains. Rajapakses don’t have “crime genes”, but they have “crime creation genes”. Defeating LTTE was a collective effort of many, though I dislike RW, he too has a contribution to it by creating a rift among LTTE. SF has the biggest contribution. He didn’t stay in AC room and fight the battle. What MR/GR did was to let SF work without any interference from them. For that MR/GR deserve credit. Come to think of it none of the Rajapakses (such a large brood) had even a single scratch on them or loss of life due to this thirty year war. CBK lost her eye, SF almost lost his life, President Premadasa, Athulathmudali, GaminiD., Ranjan Wijeratna and many Army, Navy, AirForce personnel lost their lives. Isn’t that something? I am a Sinhalaya from deep South, but I wouldn’t say all the Southerners or Sinhalayas are lily white. We have criminals among us, so do Tamils. They have good people as well as criminals just like in our community. Who is responsible for creating BBS, Islamic terrorists and white van criminals? Was it Tamils?

        • 6
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          Dear Mr Guruge,
          .
          YOu are spot on. Thanks for having addressed it to them in detail.
          :
          I have met myself once with FM SF, he is a decent man whom we really need to respect for. He is very honest as no other poltiician. I like him, because he is genuine from the day one on.
          :
          Defeating terror within the country was a good thing, there, some respect I have to the leadership but I dont think I would respect a person, who would rape the woman who is just rescued from drowning. ::: That is what Mahinda Rajakashe did after the war is no longer there. In post scenario he suffered from power intoxication as any tribal leader would do. Even today, he is so greedy at power not because he intends to do lot more good to the nation. To tell you, Mr, there are lot more poverty in that country, than they reported sofar. Thank s COVID crisis, untold stories of far poor people came to surface.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M_PCQVZUOM

  • 19
    4

    “Freedom of the Press,
    if it means anything at all,
    means the freedom
    to criticize and oppose”
    ― George Orwell
    What are the Rajapaksa’s so afraid of, that they need to harass, silence, threaten, and even kill, journalists and members of the media? If they have done nothing wrong, then let the journalists write anything they want, because then truth will be on the Rajapaksa’s side. It is a part of a journalist or reporter’s job, to have sources, and investigate the truth, and those sources trust that journalist or reporter to not reveal the identity of their sources, for fear of being a victim of intimidation and revenge (which is highly probable in our country today as we can see). This is the practice all over the world, except in nations without democracy, or have authoritarian governments, and dictatorships.
    Shame on those Rajapaksa supporters who seem to not care if members of the media are victims of Rajapaksa’s efforts to silence the media. It seems they are deliberately ignoring the brutal killing of Lasantha Wickrematunge, , the family members of Prageeth Eknaligoda, and others, still wanting answers about those who are missing, kidnapped, threatened, and those who had to flee for their lives. They have accepted ALL the Rajapaksa crimes, including corruption, and charges against them that have mysterious vanished.

    • 12
      19

      Ashan,
      We are not talking about a ‘Journalist’ but a journalist who has helped another person to fabricate a story to tarnish the name of the leaders of Sri Lanka and the image of Sri Lanka among the International Community. Such persons should be treated as tray tors. Guys who supported LTTE terrorists are supporting ‘Journo Terrorists’.

      • 10
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        If you have proof of this, do share. If you don’t, realize conspiracy theories are believed only by ignorant people.

      • 7
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        Is there anything left to tarnish the war criminals. The whole world knows who Rajafukses are.
        You mean to they did not threaten the swiss embassy staff using intelligence officers. Whole world knows. By these acts Rajafukses are adding proof that is all.
        You think Gotler did not give orders to kill white flag carriers and young child Balachandran
        Enough of videos by our war heroes who shot them as souvenirs have been sold to the western journalist. They thought if the officers took LTTE gold for themself why not we also make money. What a set of patriotic soldiers and officers we have.
        There are several officers and gentlemen.
        By protecting few scoundrels we are hurting those officers and gentlemen

  • 13
    7

    A big thank you must be given to the 6.9 million Yakko modaya’s who soiled their sacred ballot to vote in the cheap autocratic kallathoni dictator into power.
    =
    Within a short period of not even 8 months of assuming office as the big chief, he has lost the plot and has become a frustrated demented mad bugger of a high class lunatic { Molay pissu wells ]
    He must be exported somewhere where he will not be in contact with either beasts or humans.
    =
    He along with the rest of the mangy crime-ridden rajapuk’s think that they are god’s gift to humanity.?
    They are so bold and brazen that whatever they desire to do whether it is legal or not will be done by force through the helpless Yakko folk who have to pay pooja to them.
    =
    Seizing the laptop of the concerned journalist on a biased court warrant given without batting an eyelid
    by a cohabiting judicial officer seems to be the new norm in this sad sorry shittiest of them all troubled island.
    =
    As the good lord’s work in mysterious ways this lady along with her husband are based overseas where the rajapuka’s just cannot get hold of her but if she is back on Lankan soil what will happen to her is anybody’s guess.?

    • 6
      10

      This guy is obsessed with Rajapakshe’s ‘poo kaa’.
      ===
      “where the rajapuka’s just cannot get hold of her”

      • 10
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        Hey Demala meenachi,
        Yes, I am not obsessed with the rear ends of the rajapuka’s like you.
        You during the daylight hours are a true Klu Klux Pol Pot racist supporter of mass murderers.
        =
        If you say that your goddesses the rajapuka’s are world-class much-respected world-leaders you are in a for a mental tune-up check.
        =
        I have always endeavoured to respond to your childish vain comments but haven’t ever had the courtesy of a reply.
        WHY I ask.

      • 10
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        Eagle Brain Dead Blind Eye

        “This guy is obsessed with Rajapakshe’s ‘poo kaa’.”

        He is just like you.
        Aren’t you obsessed with Tamil Nadu toilet habits?

        • 5
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          Native (Fake) Vedda,
          The ‘Poodles’ who licked the boots of B. Raj from 1858 to 1947 found a puppy in 1987 and behaved like ‘Bull Dogs’. Recently, these ‘Poodles’ went to the border and tried to behave like ‘Bull Dogs’ and got fked up. Twenty dead and eight taken as prisoners. Good show!!!

          • 3
            2

            Eagle Brain Dead Blind Eye

            Will you or will you not fight the Hindians for Chinaman?
            I suggest you support the peacefully rising middle kingdom.

            Your Weeping Widow Sirimao supported Paskistan in 1971 and the country was divided into two. Pakistan’s nuclear armed all weather friend and yankees could not stop the “poodles” from dividing the country.

            Gota should support China this time around.

            The Ranavirus couldn’t stop IPKF or poodles crossing the palk strait and invading this island, violating airspace (sovereignty whatever that is) which is almost like rape, ……

            If Gota got b***s he should warn the Hindians they should not entertain any funny ideas, if they invade China, this island would not hesitate to invade Southern Hindia.

            • 1
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              Native (Fake) Vedda,

              What the hell those who acted as Bull Dogs in Sri Lanka doing from 1858 to 1947. Half Naked Fakir ran around all over the place for nothing. If Britain did not run into financial problems due to WWII, still those poodles licking the boots of British Raj.

              Ranaviruwo were mad with JRJ for not allowing them to capture the megalomaniac ahole at Wadamarachchi and inviting IPKF. That is why one of our brave Ranaviruwa gave a nice shot to ‘Parippu Dropper’.

              • 2
                1

                Eagle Brain Dead Blind Eye

                “Ranaviruwo were mad with JRJ for not allowing them to capture the megalomaniac ahole at Wadamarachchi “

                True Ranaviruses have been mad (however since 1956) for exposing them to Hindian Mirage 2000.

                Even the Ranaviru who used his riffle butt fortunately couldn’t aim properly. Afterwards JR said he had temporarily gone mad. How not true. He had permanently gone mad, now an astrologer.

          • 3
            0

            Bald Eagle,
            Today the thrilling news in Tamil media is Rapist Army requested One Million liters of Milk from Tamil Nadu. I don’t think Rapist army going to get it. But that is not important. You every day bragged here your Rapist Army and downplayed TN. Now you are there with their begging ball.
            I am certainly sure this is connected to the failed attempt of Senior Brother Prince initiation to bring 1000 Australian cows. JVP right away condemned this as a cash cow project for Royal, but the Australia cows cannot fare well in Lankawe environment. Brother Prince wanted two birds to one stone. One is 1000 cash cow commission, other one to stab on the back New Zealand and Australia, who are no longer enthusiastic in exporting Milk power to Lankawe. Last time, before Old King ran out of Temple Tree House two years earlier before his term, because of complete collapse of his businesses model and China’s plough Back of the commission paid, he has been sucking the New Zealand dairy companies. Latter, New King sucked threatening that there were poison chemical in Anchor Milk Power. These guys many times returned Indian Petrol Tanker ships, secretly planning to buy from China. But India didn’t give that easy deal for them. Now they are looking to bankrupt Tamils Nadu with a milk deal. These days you seems cant find even underwear to hide your shame. Is that right?

      • 2
        1

        Eager-less P……?
        As I had stated over and over, I am not obsessed with any beast or any 2 legged mongrels.
        =
        I dislike the rajapuka’s, their political parties and all their hangers-on who are nothing but criminal cheats.
        I have been and still am a true blue-blooded loyal supporter of the grand old party the UNP along with the TNA.
        =
        Like you Mahindapalan, I had been married to 2 Sinhalese ladies, have tons of lady mates from the same ilk and if you refer to my Facebook page I have tons of mates who are from your brood.
        =.
        In life, I never hate any living being but dislike many.
        .

      • 2
        0

        EE,
        .
        to the same degree, you seem to be obssesed by WELLAL tamil caste…
        .
        And you are tamed by Rajaakshe mantra as if the total uneducated naive people would do. But I have no doubt, Rajaakshes would have face the nemesis sooner than later.

  • 5
    3

    Who voted for CPJ?

  • 6
    3

    If this is all about a 206 second call to (or from) the swiss embassy staffer, then what has been done to check the calls made from those 82 phones found inside the negombo prison? Gold mines all of them.

  • 5
    6

    Two questions. 1) Who the bloody hell this woman Bastianz is, and 2) who the bloody hell does this Alia Iftikhar character thinks he is?
    /
    Bastianz’s role in staging the bogus kidnapping was even worse than Rajitha datha’s white van crocodile feeding disgrace. They came from the same sakkili gangs who created the pre-2015 white van kidnapping lie. They should be investigated and prosecuted.
    /
    There is a general lesson here. The current government should not appoint such desperate media hacks whi are not of the suitable calibre for editor jobs. There is a Greatien awardee currently throwing stones at Gotabhaya Rajapakse for not ‘rewarding’ him for the ass licking he did in the earlier regime. He claims degrees from Harvard and Cornell without having any, and claims Peradeniya credentials after going to Dumbara, and not completing a degree.
    Not happy with the laptop, he is writing under 100 bogus names to this website, criticising the current regime. and talking to himself.
    /
    Bastard is dreaming!
    /
    As to Alia Iftikhar can do himself up!

    • 4
      1

      Helios the Belios,
      This smart young lady is soon to become one of the best journalists that this sad sorry made the shittiest of them all by your lip kissing doubtful of their sex swingers the much-hated and loathed rajapuka clan.
      =
      Luckily at this present juncture, she’s in safety with her Sinhala husband far far away from the clutches of the sordid rajapuk’s.
      Hopefully, it will stay that way.

      • 3
        0

        I thought Helios may have been abducted by Rajapakshes all these days, or COVID caught him for our good… my gosh the animal is back. :(

  • 2
    0

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