bad in Asia
countries, however, do not necessarily mean they have better press
freedom, the poll showed.
The United States, Britain and Japan were ranked lower than Slovenia
and Costa Rica. Surprise Surprise: Sri Lanka is 51st, India is 80th
.and Thailand 65th
Sri Lanka being best in South Asia.
freedom is under threat worldwide, with the situation in Asia being
especially bad, a Paris-based advocate group said Thursday.
In its first
worldwide index gauging respect for press freedom, Reporters Without
Borders found that North Korea, China, Myanmar, Turkmenistan and
Bhutan are the five worst places among 139 countries and territories
however, do not necessarily mean they have better press freedom,
the poll showed.
States, Britain and Japan were ranked lower than Slovenia and Costa
Rica on the list.
worst-ranked countries, press freedom is a dead letter and independent
newspapers do not exist," Reporters Without Borders said in
a statement on its Web site.
voice heard is of media tightly controlled or monitored by the government,"
the group said.
journalists in those places, very few in number, are constantly
harassed, imprisoned or forced into exile by the authorities, the
is banned or allowed in a very small number and always closely monitored
in those countries, it added.
The top five
countries of the press freedom index are Finland, Iceland, Norway,
the Netherlands and Canada.
Of the Asian
countries and territories ranked, Hong Kong came first, winning
the 18th position on the list.
in Asia, got the 26th place, same as South Africa and Austria.
South Korea respectively obtained the 35th and the 39th rankings.
As for Southeast
Asian countries, Indonesia gained the 57th position, Thailand the
65th, Cambodia the 71st, the Philippines the 89th, Malaysia the
110th, Brunei the 111th, Vietnam the 131st, and Laos the 133rd.
meanwhile, took the 51st place, whereas India was 80th, Bangladesh
118th, Pakistan 119th and Nepal 127th.
Borders said the "poor" ranking of the United States in
17th position is mainly due to the growing number of journalists
arrested or jailed there.
are often because journalists refuse to reveal their sources in
court. Also, since the Sept 11 (2001) attacks, several journalists
have been arrested for crossing security lines at some official
buildings," the group said.
The press freedom
index was compiled from results of a survey of local and foreign
journalists, researchers and legal experts about press freedom violations
in their places, including attacks on journalists and controls over
media in the past year. Reporters Without Borders said some countries
are not included in the ranking because there is lack of reliable
information on them.
(Courtesy Japan Today)
Once, in Galle, an instructing attorney came up to a
counsel to beg a subscription towards the funeral expenses of a
brother counsel who had died in distressed circumstances. The instructing
attorney at once tendered a Rs 1000 note.
only want Rs 50 from each contributor, said the counsel.
it, my dear fellow," replied the instructing attorney. "And
while you're at it, bury twenty of them!"
should I ?
The local Sarvodaya office realized that it
had never received a donation from the town's most successful lawyer.
A local volunteer
calls to solicit his donation, saying "our research shows that
even though your annual income is over a million rupees you do not
give one cent to charity! Wouldn't you like to give back to your
community through The Sarvodaya?"
thinks for a moment and says: "First, did your research show
that my mother is dying after a long, painful illness and has huge
medical bills far beyond her ability to pay?"
the Sarvodaya rep mumbles, "Uh, no."
that my brother, a disabled soldier, is blind and confined to a
wheelchair and is unable to support his wife and six children?"
Sarvodaya rep begins to stammer an apology but is cut off.
that my sister's husband died in a dreadful traffic accident",
the lawyers voice rising in indignation, "leaving her penniless
with a mortgage and three children?"
Sarvodaya rep, completely beaten, says simply, "I had no idea."
then says"...and if I don't give any money to THEM, why should
I give any to you?"
finds out he has an inoperable brain tumor. It's so large, they
have to do a brain transplant. His doctor gives him a choice of
available brains. There's a jar of rocket scientist brains for rupees
10 an ounce, a jar of regular scientist brains for rupees 15 an
ounce, and a jar of lawyer brains for the sum of rupees 800 an ounce.
The outraged lawyer says, "This is a ripoff! How come the lawyer
brains are so damned expensive?" The doctor replies, "Do
you know how many lawyers it takes to get an ounce of brains?"
a high-priced lawyer! If I give you rupees 500, will you answer
two questions for me?"
What's the second question?"
fault is it anyway?
an architect and a lawyer are having a heated barroom discussion
concerning which of their professions is actually the oldest profession.
says: "Surgery is the oldest profession. God took a rib from
Adam to create Eve and you can't go back further than that."
says: "Hold on! In fact, God was the first architect when he
created the world out of chaos in 7 days, and you can't go back
any further than that!"
puffs his cigar and says: "Gentlemen, Gentlemen...who do you
think created the chaos??!!"
Department, The CID, and the STF are all trying to prove that they
are the best at apprehending criminals. The President decides to
give them a test. He releases a rabbit into a forest and each of
them has to catch it.
The CID goes
in. They place animal informants throughout the forest. They question
all plant and mineral witnesses. After three months of extensive
investigations they conclude that rabbits do not exist.
The STF goes
in. After two weeks with no leads they burn the forest, killing
everything in it, including the rabbit, and they make no apologies.
The rabbit had it coming.
go in. They come out two hours later with a badly beaten bear. The
bear is yelling: "Okay! Okay! I'm a rabbit! I'm a rabbit!"
in a coffin
An old man
was on his death bed. He wanted badly to take all his money with
him. He called his priest, his doctor and his lawyer to his bedside.
"Here's rupees 30,000 cash to be held by each of you. I trust
you to put this in my coffin when I die so I can take all my money
with me." At the funeral, each man put an envelope in the coffin.
Riding away in a limousine, the priest suddenly broke into tears
and confessed that he had only put rupees 20,000 into the envelope
because he needed rupees 10,000 for a new baptistery. "Well,
since we're confiding in each other," said the doctor, "I
only put rupees 10,000 in the envelope because we needed a new machine
at the hospital which cost rupees 20,000." The lawyer was aghast.
"I'm ashamed of both of you," he exclaimed. "I want
it known that when I put my envelope in that coffin, it held my
personal check for the full rupees 30,000."
so cold last week that I saw several lawyers with their hands in
their own pockets."
As the lawyer
woke up after surgery, he said" "Why are all the blinds
answered: "There's a big fire across the street, and we didn't
want you to think the operation was a failure."