Sri Lanka: No FREE Zone or Only FIRE Zone?
The Free Media has been the biggest enemy for Sri Lankan Presidents, ever since the civil war broke, three decades back. While the neighboring India has 24X7 channels sensationalizing everything to boost the TRP, the island nation still has censored media — directly or indirectly.
The Government of Sri Lanka labels anything against them in a single word ‘PRO-TIGER’. The bottom line of the story is – still the ghost of tiger is haunting the living victorious lion. According to the announcement of government, the Tigers were muted. The network of Tiger is still alive. This fact, though cannot be over-ruled.
Channel 4 of UK became an enemy for Sinhala regime when they aired ‘Killing Fields of Sri Lanka’. The Tamil media of India has both Pro-Tiger and Anti-Tiger camps. The National daily of India, THE HINDU(which is head quartered in Chennai, capital of Tamil Nadu) is anti-Tiger for long time. THE HINDU was also accused of being close to Rajapakses.
Arresting the journalists who are against the government is not a big thing for the island nation. Detaining foreign reporters is a commonality in Sri Lanka. The Latest to join the list of foreign journalists to be detained in the island nation is Maha. Tamil Prabahakaran. Even the journalist’s name doesn’t bring any for the Rajapakses – The Big (maha) Tamil(the language of minority) Prabahakaran (name of LTTE Chief killed in war).
Maha. Tamil Prabhakaran hails from Indian state of Tamil Nadu and works for Junior Vikatan magazine of Vikatan publishing house. The Indian External Affairs ministry has to pitch in to get back the journalist. The allegation leveled against the journalist is that, he used Tourist visa and violated rules by entering into sensitive areas for collecting news which is not permitted.
The government may or may not be correct in its argument but as usual it fails in articulating. The government has to learn how to deal with the world and how to really work on reconciliation.
Unless the reconciliation and devolution of power is achieved, even the government’s strong cordial international powers cannot help. Sri Lanka says there are No FREE Zones only FIRE Zones. This is the message world reads.