Sri Lanka, one of worst offenders of press freedom - RSF

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 21 October 2009, 04:35 GMT]
Sri Lanka was ranked 162nd of the 175 countries in the latest press freedom ranking released by the Paris based Reporters without Borders today. The Asian countries that least respected press freedom were announced as North Korea, one of the “infernal trio” at the bottom of the rankings, Burma, which still suffers from prior censorship and imprisonment, and Laos, an unchanging dictatorship where no privately-owned media are permitted, RSF said.

"To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders prepared a questionnaire with 40 criteria that assess the state of press freedom in each country. It includes every kind of violation directly affecting journalists (such as murders, imprisonment, physical attacks and threats) and news media (censorship, confiscation of newspaper issues, searches and harassment). Ánd it includes the degree of impunity enjoyed by those responsible for these press freedom violations," RSF said in its website, explaining the details behind computing the index.

Asia’s few democracies are well placed in RSF's latest rankings. New Zealand (13th), Australia (16th) and Japan (17th) are all in the top 20.

Respect for press freedom and the lack of targeted violence against journalists enable these three countries to be regional leaders, press reports said.

South Korea (69th) and Taiwan (59th) fell far this year. South Korea plummeted 22 places because of the arrests of several journalists and bloggers and the conservative government’s attempts to control critical media. The new ruling party in Taiwan tried to interfere in state and privately-owned media while violence by certain activists further undermined press freedom.

Two Asian countries were included in the index for the first time: Papua New Guinea (56th), which obtained a very respectable ranking for a developing country, and the Sultanate of Brunei (155th), which came in the bottom third because of the absence of an independent press.


External Links:
RSF: Press Freedom Index 2009

 

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