Sri Lanka to withdraw censorship?

Oct 31, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lanka has imposed blanket censorship on war reporting, officials said Wednesday, a week after a devastating attack on its air force, but is reconsidering the move following media protests. The government then came under fire from media rights groups after saying it would like to hire hackers to stop the site altogether

President Mahinda Rajapakse used tough emergency laws to ban the publication of any information on military operations as well as weapons procurement by government forces, according to a government notice obtained by AFP.

However, the government was yet to name a “competent authority” to carry out the actual censoring of reports, said a spokesman for the information and media ministry, adding that officials were studying the presidential order.

Senior administration officials later said the government was reconsidering the censorship amid calls from the local Free Media Movement to revoke the “Extra Ordinary Gazette” issued by the president.

“There are some serious discussions going on at cabinet level as well as among senior officials on the fall-out of this decision,” a top official who declined to be named said.

Last week the government shut down a