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EU express ‘concern’ over website bans

In a statement released Tuesday morning, the EU Heads of Mission in Colombo stated their concern over the growing lack of media freedom in Sri Lanka, after a recent crackdown on anti-government websites.

The statement adds to the growing pressure on Sri Lanka, after the US and other free media organisations criticised moves by the Sri Lankan government stifling media freedom.

A recent spate of website bans took place on the island after it was claimed they insulted government officials.

The full EU statement said,

“EU Heads of Mission in Colombo view with concern the recent blocking of various news websites in Sri Lanka.

The EU considers that freedom of press forms an integral part of any democratic system. The EU therefore believes that the media should be allowed to operate independently.

The EU also believes that citizens have the right to access all information provided by the media and to make their own judgements and to formulate opinions independently.

The EU Heads of Mission call on the Sri Lankan authorities to ensure that the rights of the free media are respected.”

See our earlier post: Sri Lanka bans opposition website (Nov 2011)