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testimonial
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Long years ago I was associated with an organization called ‘The National Movement Against Terrorism’ (NMAT). This was at a time when those who called for a military offensive to rid the country of the terrorist menace were called racists, chauvinists, bigots, warmongers and other such derogatory names. It was also a time when dollar-hungry, Eelam-touting, LTTE-loving academics, NGO racketeers, human rights activists who did not see victims of LTTE terrorism as ‘humans’, LTTE proxies masquerading as journalists and other such creatures had the ear of the highest in the land. It was, indeed, a time when the highest in the land were pathetically compromising themselves and the nation to the whims and fancies of the nation’s detractors. The NMAT’s effectiveness was such that people like Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu publicly stated that it was dangerous because “among its membership are prominent  

academics, professionals, politicians and Buddhist monks”, when in fact there were just two professionals (a doctor and a lawyer) and one academic (the academic was also a qualified lawyer), but no politicians or ‘Buddhist monks’ and none who could be called ‘prominent’.

Pro-LTTE elements. The NMAT, at the time, did what they could. We solicited small contributions from like-minded people, put up posters and held demonstrations. The NMAT also put together several publications that countered the malicious, misinformation campaign of pro-LTTE elements. These included ‘The LTTE: Terrorism Unlimited’ (a photo essay), ‘BULL’ (an assessment of claims such as the LTTE being the sole-representatives of the Tamil people, is engaged in a liberation struggle and was invincible), ‘Portraits of terrorism’ (a pictorial record of the LTTE’s crimes against humanity in Sinhala, Tamil and English), and ‘Some tears are not newsworthy’ (a critical essay on the pro-LTTE slant of some sections of the media). The NMAT didn’t have bucks. The NMAT had the arguments, though. The NMAT could substantiate argument. These were what differentiated the NMAT from those who were hell bent of giving legitimacy to the LTTE and according to it parity of status vis-a-vis the government ofSri Lanka.

LITTLE GIRL 

Most important was th e fact that the NMAT could call upon people who had integrity and skill ready to help in whatever way possible. They provided time, ideas and material free of charge. Some wrote, some translated, some provided photographs, some gave information, some were layout artists, some had motorbicycles and some ran errands. Payment, for all of them, was the privilege of contributing.

I REMEMBERED ONE OF THE PRINCIPAL CONTRIBUTORS YESTERDAY AS I WAS WADING THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THOSE TERRIBLE TIMES WE’VE LEFT FAR BEHIND (TO THE CHAGRIN, I MAY ADD, OF THOSE WHO PREFERRED A DIFFERENT OUTCOME AND WHO, EVEN AS I WRITE, SPARE NO PAINS TO TURN BACK THE CLOCK). I REMEMBERED THE PHOTOGRAPH USED ON THE COVER OF ‘SOME TEARS ARE NOT NEWSWORTHY’.

It had been taken immediately after the LTTE attacked a village in Welikanda, killing 12 villagers. The photograph was of a little girl, around 10 years old. Her father had been killed in the attack.

The entire story was in her tear filled eyes. One tear had escaped and marked the path of sorrow and loss down her left cheek. Another was balance on eyelash.

The photograph went around the world. The graphic designer, Amarajeewa, a gentleman and one of the most talented artists of his generation, played with the image. He turned it into a black-white picture and cropped it so that only the eyes were shown. To me, it was a classic. Both photograph and the play on photograph.

That photograph has been used many times by those who wished to tell the world the story that the LTTE and its apologists were silent about. It spoke of tragedy, loss, meaninglessness and also about the heart (or lack thereof) of the tear-giver. Few mention the photographer.

Anuruddha Lokuhapuarachchi worked for Reuters at the time. One of the most skilled photo journalists this country has produced, Anuruddha possessed an eye that could extract the ‘human’ in the things he surveyed through lens and mind. For reasons that are still not clear, though, some people claiming they were from the Criminal Investigation Division (CID), entered his house on December 11, 2007, interrogated and intimidated his wife. That was unwarranted harassment and to date the perpetrators of that dastardly act have not been brought to book.

I am aware that Anuruddha’s photographs are used without acknowledgment by those who for reasons best known to them have pinned the ‘traitor’ label on him. I needed to use that particular image, so I wrote to him. He replied promptly. I quote, without editing:

‘I am appreciate your request because at least you have ethics more then others who was used my picture without my knowledge as when I inquire it they called my traitor. Our life still pay back for this pictures but I am not expecting money for it. This images no more belongs to me, its belongs to our country. These images show us part of our undeleted history. I believe at least you keep small space your book for mention to who was captured this images. Good luck!’

WAR AGAINST TERRORISM

Some might call this patriotism, but it is not. It goes beyond patriotism. There is understanding of reality and there is compassion, humility, generosity and equanimity here. This, perhaps, is what gives depth to the two-dimensional thing that he produces with a click. It is what paints humanity into the three-dimensional story that he captures, I am convinced.

Anuruddha was not a member of the NMAT. He may or may not have shared the preferred political outcomes of the NMAT. He may have not thought that he was doing a lot, but he did.

This country has survived two insurrections, a debilitating war against terrorism, horrendous constitutional enactments, lived through multiple crises, suffered the arrogance and ignorance of rulers, weathered the machinations of forces intent on destabilizing, and consistently fought above its weight. It must have something to do with what kind of civilizational drives and philosophical preferences brought us to where we are, I believe. I believe also that we have survived and will continue to defy all odds for these same reasons. And I believe that such things manifest themselves and become relevant in the hearts and minds of exceptional individuals who enhance several fold the worth of the talents they are born with or the skills they acquire.

Anuruddha Lokuhapuarachchi contributed and will, I am sure, continue to contribute. Just by being who he is. Affiliated only to professionalism and empowered by a deep sense of humanity.

msenevira@gmail.com

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Collision between Waugh & Gillespie at Kandy, Pic by Anuruddha Lokuhapuaratchchi for Reuters.

Methlall Weerasuriya

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ඡායාරූපයක් නැරඹීම හා ඡායාරූපයක් වටහා ගැනීම යනු එකක් නොව දෙකක් ය යන මතය යළි මා තුළ තහවුරු කරන්නට සමත් කමෙන්ටුවක් දැකීමෙන් මෙලෙස ලියන්නට සිත් විය. විශේෂයෙන් ම ජනමාධ්යුකරණයේ භාවිත වන ඡායාරූපමය ජනමාධ්යටවේදයේ දී, ඡායාරූපයක් නැරඹිමෙන් පමණක් එහි යටි පෙළ වටහා ගන්නට හැකියාවක් නොමැති බවත්, එය එක්තරා ආකාර වූ පරිචයක් ඔස්සේ අත්පත් කර ගත යුතු හැකියාවක් බවත් පැවැසෙයි.
මෙම පරිචය නොමැතිව ඡායාරූපයක මතුපිට පමණක් ලෙවකා බලා අනුරුද්ධ ගේ යුද ඡායාරූපකරණය සම්බන්ධව අදහස් පළ කිරීමට පෙලැඹී තිබෙන, දැනුමින් දිළිඳු ඉහත කමෙන්ටුකරු පිළිබඳ අප තුළ ඇති වන්නේ තරහක් හෝ කේන්තියක් හෝ නොව හුදු අනුකම්පාවකි.
පසුගිය දසක ගණනාවක් ඇදී ගිය සිවිල් යුද්ධයේ කාල රේඛාවක් හෙවත් ටයිම් ලයින් එකක් පැහැදිලි ලෙස අප හමුවේ විදාරණය කරන්නට අනුරුද්ධ ගේ මෙම රූපාවලිය සමත් වන බව අපගේ අදහසයි. අප එසේ කියන්නේ ගැටුමට මැදි වූ දෙපාර්ශවය පිළිබඳව ම ඡායාරූපමය අර්ථකථනයක් අප හමුවේ ගෙනහැර දක්වන්නට අනුරුද්ධ සමත් ව ඇති හෙයිනි. යුද්ධයට මැදිවූයේ කවරෙක් ද ඒ කවරකුට වුව ද අත් වූ ඛේදජනක ඉරණම කවරාකාරදැයි වටහා ගන්නට මේ රූපාවලිය අපය කදිම ඉඩහසරක් සපයා දෙයි. අප බොහෝ දෙනා දෙම`ඵන් හෙවත් සු`ඵ ජාතිය යැයි අවඥාවෙන් බැහැර කරන ජන කොටසට මෙන් ම, මා ද ඉහත කමෙන්ටුකරු ද අයත් වන, මහ ජාතිය යැයි ඉතා උදාරම් බසින් හඳුන්වා ගන්නා සිහලූන්ට ද මේ යුද්ධය නිසා අත්විඳින්නට සිදු වූයේ එකම ඛේදජනක අත්දැකීම හා ඉරණමක් බව මේ කමෙන්ටුකරු තවමත් නොදන්නා සෙයකි. වෙඩි උණ්ඩය හෝ බෝම්බය ජාතියක් හෝ වර්ගයක් තැකුවේ නැත. මේ දෙපිරිසට ම එක සේ බැට දුන්නේය. අනුරුද්ධගේ රූපාවලිය අපට කියන්නේ එම ඛේදනීය ඓතිහාසිකත්වයයි. ඒ ඉතිහාසය පිළිබඳ ඇසින් දුටු සාක්ෂියයි.
තවත් කරුණක් පිළිබඳ ඉහත කමෙන්ටුකරුගේ අවධානය යොමු කිරීමට මම කැමැත්තෙමි. එදා අපේ බොහොමයක් දේශීය ජනමාධ්යෙ හා ජනමාධවේදීන් මෙම යුද්ධය වාර්තා කළ ආකාරය යළි සිහියට නගා ගන්නා ලෙස මම නැවත ඉල්ලා සිටිමි. මාගේ මතකය නිවැරැදි නම් එදා මේ පිරිසෙන් බහුතරයක් යුද වාර්තාකරණය නමින් සිදු කළේ ශරීටිම ලංකා යුද හමුදාව කඳවුරු බැඳගෙන සිටින අඩවියට වී සිටිමින් අපේ හමුදාවේ (මෙලෙස නොකියා සිංහල හමුදාවේ යැයි කිවහොත් අපට ද කොටි හිතවාදී හංවඩුව වදින නිසා එසේ පවසමි) යුද ටැංකියකට මුවා වී හෝ අල්ලා ගත් පෙදෙසක පොල් රුප්පාවක් සෙවණේ හිඳිමින් හෝ කැමරාව ඉදිරියේ වහසි බස් දොඩමින් කොටින් පතුරු ගැසීමය. එවන් පසුබිමක යුද පිටියේ දෙපස ම සිදු වන දෑ පොදු මහජනයා වෙත ජනමාධ්යුය ඔස්සේ සමීප කරවීමේ වගකීම සිය උර මතට ගත්තේ අනුරුද්ධලා ගේ පරම්පරාවේ ජනමාධ්ය වේදීන් පිරිසකි. මේ සත්යකය තේරුම් ගත නොහැකි ඉහත කමෙන්ටුකරුවන් ඇද බාන සිල්ලර දේශනාවලින් යහපතක් සිදු වේ යැයි කාට නම් පැවසිය හැකිද?
කොටින් අවි අත දරා සිටි පමණින් උන් ලොව විනයගරුක හමුදාවක් හෝ පරයි බල හමුදාවක් යැයි කෙනකු සිතන්නේ නම් එය විහි`ඵවකි. කමෙන්ටුකරුගේ මතයට අනුව එසේ නම් සාමාන්යි ජනතාව පීඩාවට පත් කරමින් ඔවුනට අවි පුහුණුව ලබා දෙමින් ද, ළමා සොල්දාදුවන් ලෙස කිරි දරුවන් යුද පෙරමුණට දැක්වීම ද ඇතු`ඵ නේක වද හිංසා දෙමින් දෙමළ ජනයා පෙළීම ද විනයගරුක හමුදාවක් සතු ලක්ෂවණයකි.
අවි දැරීම සංකේතවත් කරන්නේ බිහිසුණු බවයි, පරයා චණ්ඩත්වයයි. විශේෂයෙන් ම නිල අයිතියක් හෝ බලයක් නොලත් ජන කණ්ඩායමක් අත අවි රැඳී තිබීම පර පනජාතන්තරයයිවාදය අගයන කිසිවකු ගේ අනුමැතියට යටත් නොවේ. එය හුදු පරි චණ්ඩත්වයම, භීෂණයම මවා පාන්නකි.
මා අදහන පරිදි මේ රූපාවලිය එල්ටීටීඊ ය යුද අපරාධවල යෙදුණේ යැයි කියන්නට සාධක ලෙස ජාත්යහන්තරය හමුවේ යොදා ගන්නට බොහෝ ඉඩකඩක් පවතියි. දේශපාලන කණ්ණාඩිවලින් බලන ඉහත කමෙන්ටුකරු වැනි අයට මේ ගැන සිතා බලන්නට මොළයක් ඇතත් නුවණක් නොමැති නිසා එය නොවැටහෙනවා වන්නට පු`ඵවන. ඒ ගැන අපට කළ හැකි කිසිවක් නැත.
අවසන් වශයෙන් කිව යුතු තවත් කරුණක් වෙයි. එනම් ඡායාරූපමය ජනමාධ්යනවේදය යනු මුහුදු වෙරළ දිගේ ඇවිදින සුද්දන් පස්සෙන් දිව ගොස් ඔවුන් පොටෝ ඇල්ලීම හෝ ගැහැනුන්ගේ අ`ග පස`ග නිරාවරණය වන පරිද්දෙන් සෙක්සි පොටෝ ඇල්ලීම නොවන බව ය. මාගේ කල්පනාවේ හැටියට කැමරාකාරයාත්, ඡායාරූපමය ජනමාධ්යොවේදියාත් අතර බෙදුම් රේඛාව වැටෙන්නේ ඒ පැහැදිලි වෙනසත් සම`ගිනි. අනුරුද්ධ ලොකුහපුආරච්චි කැමරාකරුවකු නොවී සැබෑ වශයෙන් ම ඡායාරූපමය ජනමාධ්යසවේදියකු වන්නේ ඔහු මේ බෙදුම් රේඛාවෙන් එපිට නිසි තැන ස්ථානගත ව සිටින හෙයිනි.

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  • 5 December 2016

Photographers from across Britain capture its beauty.

The finalists of the 2016 Through the Lens photography awards discuss their images of the British Isles.

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Anuruddha Lokuhapaurachchi, Wales: “Early and harmonious morning with fog over Lake Bala, Gwynedd.

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Book
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The Art of Seeing 2: The Best of Reuters Photography

By Reuters Limited

“War and Peace” in Sri Lanka is an an exhibition of photographs

War and Peace” in Sri Lanka is an an exhibition of photographs of the photojournalists of the Foreign Correspondents’ Association to be held July 1 - 11 at Barefoot Gallery, Galle Road. Colombo 4.
Perhaps the best chronicle of our times


Review by Rajpal Abeynayake


If there is such a thing as going behind the scenes of Sri Lanka's conflict (and of course the ceasefire that followed) perhaps it's through the medium of photojournalism. But cameramen take pictures and seldom talk.

Yet for the exhibition put on by the photojournalists of the Foreign Press Association, photojournalists have taken some devastatingly powerful pictures --and they end up talking too. Most pictures hung on the walls of the Barefoot Gallery are of high technical quality, of superior news value and they also contain a narration of the private thoughts of the photographer.

When Rajiv Gandhi for instance was almost hit on the head by a soldier at an honour guard in Colombo, there was only one still photograph that was taken of the incident. Sena Vidanagama the photographer says that the TV cameramen were blocking his view and he didn't in his wildest dreams imagine that he would come away with a photograph that hit the front pages of most dailies in the world.

Five photojournalists who are FCA members have lent their work for the exhibition and they are Anuruddha Lokuhapuarachchi of Reuters Dominic Sansoni a freelancer for a range of international magazines including Time, Gemunu Amarasinghe of AP, Sena Vidanagama staff photographer of AFP and Syriantha Walpola of The Hindu.

"The photo exhibition portrays the death, destruction, grief and hardship of the war contrasting with the images of hope and renewal during the largely-peaceful atmosphere of the recent past,'' say the organizers.

Looking at these pictures, one should feel they really do not need to hold a brief for the display. The pictures speak magnificently for themselves. Who wouldn't want girls prancing about on the beach instead of infants mutilated by a machete? The exhibition also should come perhaps with a Parental Guidance warning. Some of these pictures I suspect were never really published anywhere. There is too much gore and carnage in them for that, and this definitely is not for the faint hearted.

But, photographers wield the camera and in the end they carve out images for posterity that most actors in past events would have rather relegated to the dustbins of time.

In this way theirs is an unadulterated rendition of the recent history of this country - theirs is the authentic chronicle. In all, it is an exhibition that photo buff or the ordinarily curious should not miss….

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Police interrogate journalist’s wife under false pretences; harassment aimed at instilling fear in independent journalists, says FMM

Free Media Movement

17 December 2007

2 minute read

(FMM/IFEX) – The following is a 16 December 2007 FMM press release: In the guise of telephone repairmen, police enter photojournalist’s residence 16 December 2007, Colombo, Sri Lanka – The FMM is disturbed to learn that officers of the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) visited the residence of senior Reuters photojournalist Anuruddha Lokuhapuarachchi in Sarojinee Watta, […]

(FMM/IFEX) – The following is a 16 December 2007 FMM press release:

In the guise of telephone repairmen, police enter photojournalist’s residence

16 December 2007, Colombo, Sri Lanka – The FMM is disturbed to learn that officers of the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) visited the residence of senior Reuters photojournalist Anuruddha Lokuhapuarachchi in Sarojinee Watta, Ratmalana, at 11:00 a.m. (local time) on 11 December and questioned his wife. Mr. Lokuhapuarachchi was away covering a cricket match in Colombo. Disguised as telephone repairpersons from the state telecoms provider Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), they questioned his wife at length about his activities in a manner one would interrogate a suspect of a serious crime.

Saying that they were from SLT, the CID personnel first inquired after Mr. Lokuhapuarachchi from the gate and then insisted on checking his telephone (landline) as they had a list of contacts in the north and east to whom they wished to ascertain whether calls had been made. No identification cards were shown. When they were informed that Mr. Lokuhapuarachchi worked at Reuters, they pretended to not know this. Probing questions were asked about Mr. Lokuhapuarachchi’s family, his wife’s family and his parent’s family. Their chief interest was in how often and how recently Mr. Lokuhapuarachchi visited the embattled north and east. When they left at the end of this de facto interrogation, one of them showed his CID identity card.

The FMM finds this incredible behaviour of the CID yet another indicator of the culture of impunity and lawlessness that state authorities act under to quell media freedom. The CID knew full well that Mr. Lokuhapuarachchi was not at home. Their questioning was meaningless and should they wish to know details of his work and travel, Mr. Lokuhapuarachchi is easily contactable.

The FMM can only interpret this behaviour of the CID to be directly aimed at instilling fear and anxiety in the minds of not just Mr. Lokuhapuarachchi but all journalists who investigate and report on the conflict in Sri Lanka in a manner that does not toe the official line. The FMM is also disturbed by Mr. Lokuhapuarachchi’s revelation that his telephone conversations might have been tapped of late.

Sadly, the intimidation of journalists in wartime is not new in Sri Lanka. What is disturbing now is the degree to which the government, through its tacit support of these arbitrary actions by state authorities, including the military and police, gravely undermines media freedom and freedom of expression.

Intimidating journalists into silence is the mark of a totalitarian regime, the emergence of which in the south is cause for deep concern. The FMM deplores this incident and urgently calls upon the government to respect the right of journalists to independently, accurately and impartially carry out their duties.

The FMM also asks the government to establish clear guidelines for officials on questioning journalists in a manner that does not contravene their fundamental rights.

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Sri Lanka: Two journalists killed in bomb blast

December 21, 1999 12:00 PM ET


New York, December 21, 1999 --- Two Sri Lankan broadcast journalists were among 22 people killed in an assassination attempt against President Chandrika Kumaratunga at an election rally on Saturday, December 18. Five other journalists were injured by the blast, which also injured Kumaratunga and scores of onlookers.


According to reports, a suicide bomber detonated the bomb at approximately 10 p.m. near a barrier that separated a crowd of reporters from Kumaratunga and a car that had arrived to pick her up. The blast killed Indika Pathinivasan of the Maharaja Television Network (MTV) and Anura Priyantha of the Independent Television Network, both camera assistants.


MTV cameraman K. Karunaratne and MTV reporter Shehan Baranage both suffered shrapnel wounds to the abdomen. Other journalists injured by shrapnel were Hiromi Hirose, chief New Delhi correspondent for the Japanese broadcasting company NHK, Nobuhiro Ikeda, a cameraman for NHK, and Reuters photographer Anuruddha Lokuhapuarachchi.

END

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ESPN Staff

5 August 1999

Official Statement: Protest at threats on Reuters Photographer

The Daily News

We strongly protest at the reported behaviour of Sri Lankan cricketer Aravinda de Silva, in using foul language, making rude gestures and attempting to attack Mr. Anuruddha Lokuhapuarachchi, Photo Journalist of Reuters News Service. Mr. Lokuhapuarachchi had been subjected to intimidation and threats while he was carrying out his professional duties, photographing members of the Sri Lankan team during training at the SSC grounds, states a Press release issued by the Prajathanthra Foundation for the Freedom of Expression. Prajathanthra convenor Lucien Rajakarunanayake states: Aravinda de Silva like all others enjoy the Freedom of Expression, but this freedom should not be mistaken for the right to abuse and use foul language on persons carrying on their legitimate duty. Further he has no right whatever to threaten or attempt to assault a person carrying on such legitimate professional duties. What Aravinda has shown in this instance is his contempt for the right and freedom of the journalist to report on a matter of public interest.

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Waging war in silence

Uvindu Kurukulasuriya

Press freedom: The Sri Lankan government won the battle by effectively shutting out access and allowing only selected media to join guided tours

Are governments at war winning the battle of controlling the international media? Of course they are. The Sri Lankan government has already won that battle.

Why am I saying this in this year's World Press Freedom Day discussion? Because my own experience in my country, Sri Lanka, provides no alternative for me.

As the Sri Lankan government, in conjunction with the army, continues to push toward a military solution and announcing that victory against the LTTE is imminent, independent information about the war has been reduced to a minimum. As one foreign correspondent said to the latest press freedom mission, "We have had no access to the field of operations for a year and now authorities refuse to give us casualty figures." One photographer working for an international news agency said: "Now they are even banning some media from covering military parades."

The government has decided to stop releasing figures for soldiers killed and wounded in the conflict; for the past several months, the army had already stopped releasing numbers of soldiers "missing in action". In April 2008 the army banned the media from going into hospitals where soldiers wounded after bloody battles in the north were being treated.

There is no longer a single foreign correspondent in Jaffna. The last to leave, Vincent Jeyan, was a stringer for the Associated Press. He was forced to leave the country after receiving death threats. Almost five local correspondents for foreign outlets were forced to leave the country, including prominent journalist and CNN correspondent Iqbal Athas, Anuruddha Lokuhapuarachchi from Reuters and Gamunu Amarasinghe from the AP.

There has been a serious deterioration in the security situation for the Sri Lankan media with threats, abductions and attacks. At least 16 media workers have been killed since August 2005 and there have been numerous death threats and incidents of harassment including violent attempts to stop the distribution of newspapers. Moreover, even in cases where evidence exists of the identity of the killers, the relevant authorities have apparently taken little or no action. Those supporting negotiated settlement are often labelled as "traitors".

The international media cannot and does not work independently of what is happening in the local media. What the government has done is effectively control the flow of information. Today, the technology has developed to a level that the distinction between the local and foreign media has greatly blurred. The internet has helped the local media to have an international reach. Therefore, controlling the local media is also equal to controlling the international media.

The government won the battle by effectively shutting out access and allowing only selected media to join guided tours. It won simply by not allowing anyone to go to the conflict area. By blocking access to civilians, including those who manage to escape the war zone and seek shelter in government-controlled areas. By refusing or delaying visas for foreign journalists. By indirect censorship. By creating a climate of fear among journalists.

The problem with winning the battle to control the media is that it cannot be sustained for a long time. It could be a classic case of winning the battle and losing the war.

The government has created a serious credibility issue. It has also allowed its adversary, the LTTE and their proxies (example Tamilnet) to resort to similar tactics. Overall, when the audience is aware that journalists and independent observers have no access to the information, they tend to believe the horror stories coming out from the opposition.

Last week AP carried a story that 6,500 civilians had been killed, quoting UN documents. In the same week the foreign minister, addressing heads of diplomatic mission, said where the security forces were concerned there were zero casualties. Now the question is how to verify which story is accurate?

I would like to draw your attention to Andrew Stroehlein's recent article, "Welcome to a world without foreign correspondents", in which he says:

The other example of a crisis unfolding mostly not before our eyes is Sri Lanka, where over the past few months the situation in the north east has become incredibly desperate for some 150,000 civilians trapped in an ever-shrinking "safe zone" between their government that is shelling them and the cult-like LTTE rebels who shoot them if they try to escape. Today, as my colleague writes, "A mass slaughter of civilians will take place Tuesday at noon. And everyone knows it." Once again, foreign correspondents are unable to cover the story, this time because the government is not allowing them in to the region.

Sunday February 17, 2008

News

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Twenty photojournalists from different newspapers underwent intensive training at Sri Lanka College of Journalism for a period of one week under its mid-career journalism training programme.

They were guided by Mia Grondahl, an internationally renowned photojournalist from Palestine, and Anuruddha Lokuhapuarachchi, senior photojournalist of Reuters.

They captured different images of poverty in the city to develop picture stories of their own. The pictures are exhibited at the Sri Lanka Press Institute at 96, Kirula Road, Colombo 05. The exhibition, open to the public, will end on Monday at 5 p.m.

 

Published here are the pictures taken by The Sunday Times photographers, Saman Kariyawasam and Athula Devapriya who participated in the training programme.

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