Nepal raises its voice to an arbitrary blocking of websites in Sri Lanka

| by Ujjwal Acharya
Chair, Digital Media Committee
Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ)

| by KP Dhungana
President, Online Journalists Association of Nepal

| by Baburam Aryal
President, Internet Society of Nepal

(November 11, Kathmandu, Sri Lanka Guardian) The Digital Media Committee at the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ), the Online Journalists Association of Nepal (OJAN) and the Internet Society, Nepal Chapter (ISOC) is deeply concerned by the recent development in Sri Lanka where the government has arbitrarily blocked several news websites and issued a communiqué requiring compulsory government registration of news websites.

We believe the real motives behind the actions taken were to control the new media and hinder the free flow of information by refusing to ensure the democratic and pluralistic media environment.

The arbitrary blocking of the websites, and therefore the free flow of information, deprives the Sri Lankan citizens of their fundamental human rights on access of information and express dissenting opinions. We believe that such action is only the state’s effort to suppress the media freedom and thereby strongly condemn the action.

We also demand the Sri Lankan government to immediately end the arbitrary blockings of news websites; withdraw the compulsion registration requirement of news website and ensure the freedom of expression.

We also express our complete solidarity with the Sri Lanka’s rights activists, civil society organizations and citizens in their fight against those actions.