IFJ expresses concern over Sri Lankan government blocking news website

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joined its Sri Lankan affiliates Free Media Movement (FMM) and the Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association (SLWJA) today to express concern over the blocking of a news website in Sri Lanka on November 8.

According to a release issued by the IFJ, Lanka e News, a UK-based website that often publishes reports critical of the Sri Lankan government, was inaccessible in Sri Lanka on November 8. The website was blocked after it published a report alleging corruption by the Office of the President in a deal relating to purchase of warships, on its website.

The website said that “the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) which is under the President has ordered ISPs to block people in Sri Lanka accessing our website” and “an official of the presidential secretariat had spoken to an Institution providing advertisements to Lanka e news and instructed to halt that advertisement”. The TRCSL has made no comments on this.

The IFJ demanded immediate withdrawal of the directives ordering the block to ensure smooth access to the website.