RSF ranks Sri Lanka in 165th position on media freedom, but govt rejects report
2008-10-22 22:57:01

The RSF or Reporters Without Boarders in its latest report has ranked Sri Lanka in the 165th position of 173 countries where the press freedom has been monitored, but Sri Lankan government last night dismissed the report saying the ranking was unacceptable.

Sri Lanka dropped in its rankings from 156 to 165 according to the report of the RSF.

But, Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena told the state run Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation that he was not sure how Sri Lanka’s press freedom had been ranked at such a lower position when the country enjoyed media freedom.

“Take a look at the Weekend papers and you will see how much of press freedom is enjoyed by the journalists”, he said.

He said there were few incidents which were due to “private reasons”, but does not accept the position that the country does not enjoy media freedom.

The RSF in its reports in the chapter referring to Sri Lanka said: “Countries that have become embroiled in very violent conflicts after failing to resolve serious political problems, such as Iraq (158th), Pakistan (152nd), Afghanistan (156th) and Somalia (153rd), continue to be highly dangerous “black zones” for the press, places where journalists are targets for murder, kidnapping, arbitrary arrest or death threats every day. They may come under fire from the parties at war. They may be accused of taking sides. Any excuse will do to get rid of “trouble-makers” and “spies.” Such is the case in the Palestinian Territories (163rd), especially the Gaza Strip, where the situation got much worse after Hamas seized power. At the same time, in Sri Lanka (165th), where there is an elected government, the press has to face violence that is only too often organised by the state.

Visit : to see full report and rankings of other countries.

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