July 14, 2009 (AFP) – A media rights organisation on Tuesday accused Sri Lankan authorities of blocking access to websites critical of the government and stifling dissent. The Paris-based Reporters without Borders, RSF, said Sri Lanka most recently blocked a site for reporting alleged incidents inside a camp for civilians displaced by the war with Tamil Tiger rebels.
“The Lankanewsweb.com blocking is the latest evidence of a decline in freedom of expression in Sri Lanka,” RSF said in a statement.
It noted that the move followed the government’s re-activation of the Press Council, which has powers to jail reporters and media executives.
The blocked website cannot be viewed through Sri Lankan Internet service providers, but many use proxy servers to access them.
In June 2007, Sri Lanka blocked access to the pro-rebel Tamilnet.com website as the military stepped up its attacks against the rebels.
International rights activists have said that Sri Lanka is one of the more dangerous places for journalists to work in.
Last month, media activist Poddala Jayantha was abducted, beaten and released with a broken leg.
The New York-based Co