Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 250

Posts Tagged ‘sri lanka’

After Sri Lanka bombings, a social media shutdown

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 23 aprile 2019

By Jon Allsop. On Easter Sunday, massive, coordinated attacks rocked Sri Lanka. Near-simultaneous explosions ripped through three churches and three luxury hotels across the cities of Colombo, Negombo, and Batticaloa; later, two further explosions hit a low-budget inn and a residential complex in Colombo. To date, the death toll stands at nearly 300 people, with around 500 more reported injured. According to the AP, the church and hotel attacks were collectively executed by seven suicide bombers. No group has yet claimed responsibility, though a Sri Lankan official blamed the National Thowheeth Jama’ath, a radical Islamist organization, for the casualties.After the bombs went off, authorities in the country blocked major social networks—a bid to stanch misinformation in a country where online falsehoods have been known to exacerbate intercommunal tensions. Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram went dark; so did YouTube, Snapchat, and Viber. The shutdown featured prominently in foreign reporting on the attacks: as several outlets pointed out, platforms that were seen, a few years ago, as important “emergency response institutions” are no longer trusted with that function. The coverage added to an incessant negative news cycle for big tech. Ivan Sigal, executive director of Global Voices, told The New York Times that the Sri Lanka blackout was a “damning indictment” of the platforms; The Guardian, in a headline, said it reflected the sense “that online dangers outweigh benefits.”
It is undeniable that major platforms have failed to get to grips with junk information, particularly during fast-moving news events. In some countries—including Sri Lanka—targeted online lies have escalated into shocking physical violence. Nonetheless, we shouldn’t let our (justified) anger at Facebook et al blind us to the risks of top-down censorship in countries with troubling records on freedom of speech. In Sri Lanka, members of the then-prime minister’s party stormed several media outlets, in October, in a bid to take control. Reporters Without Borders ranked the country 126th (out of 180) in its 2019 World Press Freedom Index.Nor should we let debates about social media consume our focus in the aftermath of atrocious acts. Violence often spawns necessary conversations about our online communities, as happened last month, following the mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand. But hate predates the internet, and has different roots in different parts of the world. Facebook-bashing should not overshadow the exploration of those causes. Nor should it diminish the centrality of innocent victims.Many outlets did a solid, varied job in their quick-turn Sri Lanka coverage. Nonetheless, in our current news cycle, the social media question always looms particularly large. On Twitter yesterday, Christopher Wylie, the whistleblower who helped break open the Cambridge Analytica scandal, assailed Mark Zuckerberg over Facebook’s role in spreading hate in Sri Lanka. Zeynep Tufekci, a prominent techno-sociologist, called him out. “Oh come on. This is Sri Lanka, an actual country with a real and complex history,” she wrote. “All this is too important to use as generic projection about Facebook or social media.” It was an important reminder. (font: CJR Editors)

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Attentati Sri Lanka

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 22 aprile 2019

In queste ore tragiche a causa dei violenti attentati che hanno colpito lo Sri Lanka, l’Unione Buddhista Italiana si stringe attorno a tutte le persone colpite da questa violenza cieca e inaccettabile. In particolare esprimiamo la nostra totale vicinanza alla comunità singalese in Italia e a tutti i centri di questa tradizione. Il ritorno del terrorismo in un paese di antica tradizione buddhista è motivo di preoccupazione e grande sofferenza per tutti i praticanti italiani e ci auguriamo che si possa tornare quanto prima a una condizione di normalità.

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Sri Lanka insanguinata da gravi attentati

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 22 aprile 2019

La Comunità di Sant’Egidio esprime il suo profondo dolore e si stringe attorno al popolo e alla Chiesa cattolica dello Sri Lanka, insanguinati dai gravi attentati che hanno provocato decine di morti. Auspicando che le operazioni di soccorso riescano a salvare la vita dei numerosi feriti, la Comunità esprime la più ferma condanna nei confronti di chi ordisce trame omicide contro persone innocenti, inermi e in preghiera. È una violenza cieca che ha come unico obiettivo seminare terrore e minare ogni tessuto di coabitazione. Sgomenta la scelta di colpire i cristiani proprio nel giorno di Pasqua, la festa più importante dell’anno, in chiese tra l’altro frequentate anche da musulmani e buddisti e dove si vive uno spirito di coabitazione pacifica tra credenti di diverse religioni. La vita pacifica dei cristiani resta la più grande risposta a chi cerca di seminare odio e divisione. Non lasciamo solo lo Sri Lanka, i cristiani, e manifestiamo la più forte solidarietà di tutte le Chiese e dei credenti di tutte le religioni, percorrendo ogni strada possibile di riconciliazione e pace.

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Sri Lanka for a real peace

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 30 aprile 2010

The Sri Lankan government seized the last remaining Tamil Tiger (LTTE) rebel territory in May 2009, ending a 30 year war.  But Caritas Sri Lanka says much work needs to create the conditions where peace can flourish.  Caritas says urgent action is needed on resettlement of displaced people, on reconstruction of war-damaged areas, landmine clearance, and reducing tensions between different communities.  The majority of people driven from their homes by the fighting have left relief camps for resettlement areas or transit camps.  However, around 90,000 people remain in camps. Caritas staff working in the camps say conditions are difficult.  Caritas Sri Lanka reports that returnees are happy at being able to restart their lives, but have highlighted insufficient basic services such as transportation, lack of clean water, health services and roads.  A large number of properties are damaged. Reconstruction in the North is going to be very costly since most of the infrastructure is totally destroyed.  A large number of widows, female-headed families, disabled, orphans and elders will need support.  Caritas says that tensions among communities at different stages of the return process have surfaced with allegations of theft of cattle and disputes over common water resources.  Language barriers between different communities also need to be overcome.  A large area in the Vanni district remains to be de-mined. Even in areas cleared for settlement, land mines and other unexploded objects are still being found.  Caritas is one of very few aid agencies with permission to work in the war-affected communities.  Caritas is running various projects to help Sri Lankans rebuild their lives after the war in Jaffna, Vanni and Mannar. During the last months, over 130,000 people have received aid from Caritas.  Caritas focuses on shelter, the needs of farmers, fishermen, small-scale traders, masons, carpenters, education (especially for orphans), counselling, and healthcare.  Caritas also helps former combatants and former child soldiers make a fresh start, and peace building measures to avoid further conflict.

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Statement on Continuing Conflict in Sri Lanka

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 25 aprile 2009

The United States is deeply concerned about the plight of innocent civilians caught up in the conflict between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers, and the mounting death toll.  We call on both sides to stop fighting immediately and allow civilians to safely leave the combat zone. We call upon the Government of Sri Lanka to stop shelling the ⿿safe zone⿿ and blocking international aid groups and media from accessing those civilians who have managed to escape. International aid workers should have access to all sites where internally displaced persons are being registered and sheltered.  The United States is working with international partners to attempt to care for those civilians who can be reached. We call on both sides to strictly adhere to their obligations under international humanitarian law. We are very concerned about reports of violations, and take these allegations very seriously. It would compound the current tragedy if the military end of the conflict only breeds further enmity and ends hopes for reconciliation and a unified Sri Lanka in the future.

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Sri Lanka: assistenza alla popolazione in fuga

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 22 aprile 2009

L’Alto Commissariato delle Nazioni Unite per i Rifugiati (UNHCR) è pronto per dare assistenza alle decine di migliaia di sfollati che si stanno dirigendo nelle aree controllate dal governo dopo essere fuggiti dalla zona di conflitto sulla costa nord-orientale dello Sri Lanka. Il governo dello Sri Lanka ha informato l’UNHCR e altre agenzie che circa 40.000 persone sono fuggite dalle aree in cui l’esercito e le Tigri per la Liberazione del Tamil Elam (LTTE) si stanno scontrando duramente. Era previsto che raggiungessero i distretti di Vavuniya e Jaffna entro 48 ore. Con questa nuova ondata si stima che le persone fuggite dalla zona di conflitto siano più di 100.000, la maggioranza delle quali sarebbe scappata nelle ultime settimane. Dei 40.000 sfollati previsti, finora l’UNHCR ha avuto conferma che circa 5.500 persone hanno raggiunto i siti a Vavuniya e altri 2.000 nuovi arrivi sono stati registrati ieri a Jaffna. Mentre procede il trasporto dei civili nei siti, l’UNHCR sta ancora accertando il numero totale di nuovi sfollati nei due distretti. L’UNHCR, con il governo e i suoi partner, sta provvedendo a fornire alloggi d’emergenza e aiuti non alimentari ai nuovi arrivati, nel frattempo svolge anche un monitoraggio per garantire la protezione nei siti. Lo staff dell’UNHCR è anche presente quotidianamente presso il centro di screening di Omanthai, ma non ha accesso agli sfollati. In previsione di movimenti della popolazione così ampi, l’UNHCR e le agenzie che forniscono alloggi stanno lavorando con il governo al fine di identificare altre zone, anche nel distretto di Mannar, per decongestionare i siti già esistenti. L’UNHCR sta anche preparando delle scorte di aiuti in vista di ulteriori movimenti di popolazione. Desta forte preoccupazione la situazione in cui versa la popolazione civile ancora intrappolata nella zona di conflitto. L’UNHCR rivolge un nuovo appello alle LTTE affinché permettano immediatamente alle persone di spostarsi in aree in cui si sentano al sicuro. Infine chiede ad entrambe le parti in conflitto di rispettare il Diritto Umanitario Internazionale e di assicurare che sia data priorità assoluta alla sicurezza della popolazione civile innocente.

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