July 10, Kathmandu- The government has banned non-governmental organizations and civil activist groups from holding news conferences and training for journalists in Srilanka.
A defense and urban development ministry ordered NGOs to stop from conducting “press conferences, workshops, training for journalists and dissemination of press releases,” issuing a notice saying such acts are “unauthorized” and “beyond their mandate.”
JC Weliamuna, a lawyer and Civil Society activist accused the order as “absolutely unconstitutional” and violation of public’s rights of freedom of association and expression. He called it a “continuation of threats on civil society.” Weliamuna told reporters that the directive was not based on any legal provision.
Last month, Transparency International Sri Lanka accused the government of disrupting the group’s training programme for journalists from the country’s former civil war zone, accusing participants of being agents for the defeated Tamil Tiger separatists.