News Sri Lanka: Journalist manhandled by notorious police inspector currently on trial News Sirimalwatte had already been interrogated on 15 June about a front-page story in the newspaper’s Sunday version, Lanka Irida Sangrahaya, claiming that houses built for “war heroes” with money raised by the government by means of public donations and special taxes had been sold to soldiers instead of given to them, as was originally intended. to go further Reporters Without Borders regards police investigations of two newspaper editors in the past few days as flagrant press freedom violations. Officers of the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) questioned the two journalists, editors of Sinhalese dailies, in an attempt to force them to reveal their sources for articles on sensitive subjects. Organisation The editor of one of the newspapers, who asked not to be named, said members of the CCD went to his newspaper’s headquarters on the morning of 16 June and questioned him for several hours about a story in that day’s issue claiming that 30 would-be suicide bombers were believed to be at large in Colombo. The police pressured him to identify the military sources cited in the article. News “The protection of sources is essential for journalists to be able to work properly and we urge the Sri Lanka authorities to respect this principle,” Reporters Without Borders said. “In its present situation, Sri Lanka needs a press that is not subject to obstruction and is not under a permanent threat of summonses, interrogations or searches.” January 13, 2021 Find out more Sri LankaAsia – Pacific July 15, 2020 Find out more Follow the news on Sri Lanka News Sri Lanka: RSF signs joint statement on attacks against human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists July 29, 2020 Find out more June 19, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Police interrogate two newspaper editors about their sources Members of the CCD went to headquarters of the Lanka newspaper at 5 p.m. on 16 June and asked the editor, Chandana Sirimalwatte, to come to CCD headquarters the next day (yesterday), where he was questioned under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. He was also asked to name sources. Sri LankaAsia – Pacific Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information RSF_en Sri Lanka: tamil reporter held on absurd terrorism charge Bennet Rupasinghe of the Lankaenews.com online newspaper and another journalist who works for the website were questioned by police earlier this month about a physical attack on a colleague, Poddala Jayantha.
Columbia County lawyers raise funds for reading project “Thank you, attorneys and judges of Columbia County for $20,000 donation,” proclaimed the sign in front of the school board building on Main Street in Lake City.The story behind the sign is a remarkable 100-percent participation of every lawyer and judge who practices in Columbia County to give money to the local public school system to buy books for its “Accelerated Reading Program.”It was Jacksonville attorney Quinton Rumph, a native of Columbia County, who sparked the fund-raising blitz by giving the first $10,000 contribution.That challenged the legal community to raise $10,000, and when matched by state funds, that meant a total of $40,000 for much-needed books for the rural community’s resource-strapped schools that were facing a $1.1-million state budget cut.Third Judicial Circuit Public Defender C. Dennis Roberts served as fund-raising chair and said the project “ties in well with President-elect Tod Aronovitz and his new ‘Dignity in Law’ campaign. . . . “There were 80 attorneys and judges who worked on this effort. No one, repeat no one, did not assist in some manner,” Roberts said, adding that the average donation was $125 per attorney and judge.“While our legal community takes great pride in its effort, we are not immune to the overall perception problem that unjustly plagues our legal community throughout the state. We felt this would be a prime example of what our profession could do when we put our minds to it and worked diligently. Hopefully, this will serve as an inspiration for the other legal communities to pull together to assist their local schools — or other worthwhile endeavors — with a similar effort.”Morris Williams, executive director of the Columbia County Public School Foundation, enlisted Roberts as fund-raising chair, and ensured that every penny raised would be used for the reading program — with no administrative funds attached.“I don’t know of any time when one profession has boldly stepped forward and organized itself and pulled something like this off,” Williams said, adding that as a direct result of the money raised by the legal community, reading skills of the county’s children have improved. “And it was attorneys and judges that did it.”Students were so excited to read the new books that they couldn’t even wait for them to hit the library shelves, grabbing them off the book cart. Students earn points as they reach certain levels in reading abilities, reading books, and taking quizzes.“I’ve been able to buy a lot of new books and new tests,” Lake City Middle School media specialist Joyce Ogden told the Lake City Reporter.“Students have really become excited about reading and have gone from hating to do a book report to being excited about their favorite authors.”Columbia High School Media Specialist Sally Moses wrote Roberts a glowing appreciation letter: “Thank you for your support and meeting the challenge of Mr. Rumph!”She said there’s been a marked increase in reading for pleasure at the high school, noting the increase in circulation of fiction books from 29 percent of circulation last year to nearly half of all books checked out this year.As Roberts said: “Of course, just as in the legal profession, reading is at the heart and soul of everything that is done in the school system.”On May 14, a ceremony honored the area attorneys and judges, along with the reading of this resolution: “It is exemplary that one profession in our community would boldly step forward to help our schools in their time of need. The Columbia County School Board hereby thanks and praises, individually and collectively, the members of the local legal community for so generously helping our school district in a time of economic need.” Columbia County lawyers raise funds for reading project June 15, 2002 Regular News
Tourists were seen walking inside therim of the White Island crater just moments before the eruption – which beganaround 14:11 local time (01:11 GMT). NEW ZEALAND – At least one dead andseveral unaccounted for, after a volcano erupted here on Monday, police said,adding 23 people were rescued. An aerial view shows smoke bellowing above the crater of Whakaari, also known as White Island, volcano as it erupts in New Zealand on Dec. 9, in this image obtained via social media. GNS SCIENCE VIA REUTERS Despite that, the island is a touristdestination with frequent day tours and scenic flights available. White Island, also known as Whakaari,is off the coast of North Island – and is one of New Zealand’s most activevolcanoes. It has several eruptions over the years, most recently in 2016, butno one was hurt.(BBC)