21 October, 2020

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World Consumer Rights Day: Sri Lankan Consumers Failed To Raise Their Voice On Illegal Internet Censorship

On World Consumer Rights day, Colombo Telegraph wishes to make reference to the plight of Sri Lankan consumers who have failed to raise the ongoing illegal censorship by internet service providers and mobile networks with the agency tasked with protecting the rights of consumers in the country.

K.A. Dharmadasa the model

World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) is an awareness day, which is observed on March 15. The WCRD was first celebrated in 1983 and is an opportunity for promoting the basic rights of all consumers, demanding that those rights are respected and protected and protesting about the market abuses and social injustices which undermine them.

In Sri Lanka however consumers have been denied their basic rights by a number of internet service providers who have blocked access to certain websites including the Colombo Telegraph for several months without any legal or moral justification. For months Sri Lanka Telecom, Dialog and Etisalat have been denying their paying customers the right to access this website. When customers inquire into this they get a standard answer that some websites are inaccessible due to technical difficulties. Curiously these technical difficulties are only faced when attempting to access independent news websites and some anti-government sites.

It is reliably learnt that these service providers are carrying out instructions from the government, the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission in particular, in an attempt to stifle the flow of information. Several individuals have attempted to engage the culprit companies through social media but there has been no response from them. Several tweets directed at the official twitter handles of the companies have produced no results. Sadly no customer has had the confidence to seek legal redress for the injustice done to them due to the compromised judicial system of the country.

*Photo credit the Nation – K.A. Dharmadasa is a vegetable vendor at the Jathika Pola

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  • 1
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    CT and Sri Lankans,

    “On World Consumer Rights day, Colombo Telegraph wishes to make reference to the plight of Sri Lankan consumers who have failed to raise the ongoing illegal censorship by internet service providers and mobile networks with the agency tasked with protecting the rights of consumers in the country.”

    1. You have a right to know.

    2. You have a right to get what you pay for. If you do not get it, it is cheating.

    3. Since cheaters, do nor deserve to be in business, you want them to go under, bankrupt.

    3. Help them to go bankrupt by destroying their equipment, their facilities, because are destroying your right ton information. This is Hartal. The LSSP did that in the early 1950’s when consumer prices were raised.

    • 1
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      Hartal, 1853.

      “For months Sri Lanka Telecom, Dialog and Etisalat have been denying their paying customers the right to access this website. “

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hartal_1953

      After the elections the government faced sudden economic difficulties, Finance Minister J. R. Jayewardene introduced a budget which abolished the subsidy on rice, increased the price of sugar, did away with the free mid-day meal for school children and increased postal fees and rail fares, as world rice prices increased because of the Korean War. In 1952 the UNP government promised to give a measure of rice for 25 cents, but within few months this soon increased to 75 cents. Numerous welfare programmes were also withdrawn. The more than doubling of the cost of rice was the main reason for the organizers of the hartal.[4]

      The Hartal 1953 was a country-wide demonstration of civil disobedience and strike, commonly known as a hartal, held in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) on 12 August 1953. It was organized to protest of the policies and actions of the incumbent United National Party government. It was the first mass political action in Ceylon and the first major social crisis after independence.[1] This event is of historical significance because it was the first people’s struggle against an elected government in the country.

      Led by the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) and other leftist parties who called on the public to resist the government and demonstrate civil disobedience and strikes, the hartal was primarily a protest of the labouring class, and as such there were no exclusions based upon caste, ethnicity or religion.[2] The protests saw much sabotage and destruction to public infrastructure, as a means of frightening and halting the government. This occurred mainly in the Western, Southern and Sabaragamuwa Provinces as well as other minor protests around the rest of the island.[3] The demonstrations lasted only a day with at least 10 people killed, resulting in the resignation of the Prime Minister.

      • 0
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        Sinhalaya Modayas are CONSUMING FOOLS!
        Today they eat oily and sugar filled junk food – Mccdonalds, Burger King, etc, and think that they have “arrived” as the Miracle of Asia because their uneducated, corrupt and criminal military dictator Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brothers think that junk food, casinos and the KINGSBURY lifestyle with Fast cars and night races is the height of CIVILIZATION!
        Meanwhile diabetes and environmental pollution from fast cars, destruction of treas, forest and water resources and factories run by regime cronies are killing Sinhala Modayas with kidney desease…
        What a frigging joke – these UNEDUCATED AND UNCULTURED MACHO JARAPASSA BOYS WITH THEIR TOYS – racing cars and guns..
        CT you must be joking to think that Sinhalaya Modayas will know the meaning of RIGHT TO INFORMATION!

  • 6
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    I was born and lived in Srilanka for 57 years when I came and settled in a foreign country I realized I have been a half baked fool right through now I think of Sri Lanka as a fool’s paradise period. its time the media starts educating people on their basic rights

    • 1
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      Now a fully baked fool meeting all international standards.

  • 1
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    Shan,
    Very few like you have courage & bravery look upon themselves openly and change internally for betterment..
    Some says, with age, people get more stiff and rigid and do not like “new” and change.. but you prove how maturity could raise wisdom… Good on you.. Love to see more commentators like you joining in and sharing new views..

  • 0
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    In Sri Lanka, for us every day “Consumers day” 365 days we are consuming Deshapremaya, Jaathi Aalaya, Bahumika Akandathawaya from the King and his goons like BBS, Rawana Balukaya, Wimal Wikarawansa and other Deshapreeyas. We are a nation that says we don’t need Media freedom, Human rights, Judicial Independence etc. after consuming Jhonny’s and Lakshman Wasantha Perera’s ethanol and free Bath Packet. There is no point of talking about Illegal Internet censorship as we have already surrendered every rights we had in the name of “Jaathi Aalaya”.

  • 0
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    When someone made the first sword , another made the shield. This process has gone on as long as mankind has existed. In the modern day no one can prevent access to information. Publicise the proxy websites. Only those with computers and other devices such as i-pads and androids can access CT and let them use the proxy alternatives. While publicising the ostrich-like ‘burying the head in sand’ behaviour of this government, Let us defeat it also by other tools available to us,

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  • 0
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    What a pose!?, as if to say, “[Edited out]” This picture of a sheer donkey tells the whole story of Sinhala chauvinism, Sinhala Buddhism and Sinhala sovereignty! No wonder three nations invaded and surrendered this country in addition to Chola incursions. This is SLFP Srilankanhood with a freely given national flag. This is a Jarapassa voter! And they decide the destiny of this country. What a pathetic situation.

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