Sri Lankan police Friday shut down opposition news websites, accusing them of carrying “false and vulgar reports”, months after imposing censorship on news alerts issued by mobile phone companies.
Seven media organisations, including the Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association, condemned the closure of the Lanka Mirror and Lanka X News offices located within the same building in Colombo.
“A group of 25 officers from the police Criminal Investigation Department sealed the offices and nine employees were arrested,” the media organisations said in a joint statement. “We condemn this deadly assault on media freedom.”
The Sri Lankan defence ministry said the news organisations were shut down after officials obtained a court order to carry out searches and seize equipment.
Rights groups and employees said one website was the official news organ of the opposition United National Party (UNP), while the other website was also closely linked to the UNP.
“The CID sealed the offices of two websites carrying false and vulgar reports,” the ministry said in a statement. “People responsible for feeding information to the Internet through this office are being investigated.”
The sites have been highly critical of the government, which is already facing international censure over its human rights record and a string of unsolved murders of journalists and attacks on the independent media.
Some 17 journalists and media employees have been killed in Sri Lanka in the past decade, pro-opposition websites have been blocked and media organisations opposing government views have been attacked, according to rights groups.
The latest police crackdown comes three months after the defence ministry ordered that all mobile phone operators should clear any security-related news reports before issuing them as SMS alerts.
Sri Lanka lifted a state of emergency last year, but media rights groups have said that journalists have been forced to self-censor their work amid fears of physical attacks.
Suspect behind NYC subway bomb scare arrested after being found unconscious in the Bronx: report
On Saturday, CNN's New York correspondent Polo Sandoval reported that a suspect wanted for placing suspicious rice cookers in New York City subway stations has been arrested after being found unconscious at an address in the Bronx.
"Less than 24 hours it took the NYPD to track down this man in relation to the scare that took place here in New York City," said Sandoval. "A source close to the investigation saying that the individual that they were trying to track down to speak to was apparently placed into custody at about 2AM This morning. He was found unconscious in the Bronx here in New York. He is currently hospitalized."
It’s not Democrats who are making guns a political issue: It’s all the dead bodies
We can’t keep up. We can’t keep up with the lies, we can’t keep up with the racism, we can’t keep up with the anti-immigrant hysteria, we can’t keep up with the firings and resignations, we can’t keep up with the flat-out lunacy, but most of all, we can’t keep up with the dead bodies.
In a single week, between Sunday, July 28, and Saturday, Aug. 3, there were three separate mass shootings in this country. In Gilroy, California, at a popular garlic festival, a man wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying an AK-47 style assault rifle, killed three people and wounded 13. Two of the dead and several of the wounded were children. The shooter had six high-capacity magazines in his possession: one was a drum magazine holding 75 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition, and the other five held 40 rounds. He had bought the AK-47 and ammunition just three weeks before he opened fire on the festival goers.
Trump is terrified a recession is coming — and he has no plan if it does: report
Economists and analysts overwhelmingly agreed this week that a recession is, if not looming, appearing to be much more likely in the near future than it was before.
But in President Donald Trump's White House, such pessimism is verboten. According to multiple reports, Trump's team has been emphasizing rosier economic numbers and brushing off signs of a coming downturn. Trump even suggested that he "suspects many economists and other forecasters are presenting biased data to thwart his reelection," according to the Washington Post. (Trump previously complained that positive economic reports under President Barack Obama were fake.)