8.20.2005

Censorship!
Or maybe critical fubar in the connection?

I’ve noticed recently that my computer can’t, or won’t, load a whole slew of websites. This sucks, because it takes away my ability to waste time following my friends’ inline links and therefore can’t always figure out what the bloody hell they’re writing about. I was shaking my (actual, physical) fist at the computer—in itself reliably irritating—when it occurred to me that the problem may actually be larger.

Are there mechanisms in Sri Lanka, as are massively used in China, for wholesale blocking of certain websites? I tried using a ‘net café to access some sites, and found the same ones unviewable. The logic of the (alleged) censorship isn’t at all obvious, which makes me think that something is screwy with the infrastructure. That is, some of the verboten stuff is totally benign from any vice-oriented or propaganda point of view. Is it really likely that some GoSL wonk is blacklisting the following (just a sample)?


PG-Rated but Vaguely Risqué for Sri Lanka
www.nerve.com
www.theonion.com
www.positiveliberty.com

No News is Good News?
www.guardian.co.uk
www.bbc.co.uk

www.telegraph.co.uk

Objections Positively Spurious
www.overheardinnewyork.com
www.edinburghfestivals.com


Perhaps it’s naïve of me to be asking these questions. We are, after all, living in a State of Emergency; if this was the US (but with SLan moral codes) you just know the Feds would be cutting off all the raunchy and/or informative sites.

Perahera, second time round, was great. Having companions and a padded seat does not, however, remove the unpleasantry of waiting approximately six hours. Crowds too much, as our return-trip-overpriced driver remarked. This time I brought my own tea. Haakon supplied samosas, bananae, and chocolate; Lisa supplied planning and wit. I took photos this time, hampered by poor light conditions and insufficient chip space. Where is that damned USB cable? We spotted our old (in both senses: in 2002, when I studied under him, he was 77) Kandyan dance teacher in full awesome regalia, and our yoga friend Thanuj (he of the amazing Playboy mansion) on his elephant. We had delicious Ram's buriyani lunch with Joseph and Kwah, who are good souls. I am tired.

A good (and accessible!) link:
badbadbadger.blogspot.com
This woman's young husband is dying of liver cancer and she's going broke over the pain meds. She's a theatre academic like me in my fantasy life. You can contribute to a PayPal fund for her here.

6 comments:

sittingnut said...

you are definitely mistaken. there has never been any censorship of the net in sri lanka.(there were times when off line media was censored but not now) all the sites mentioned were accessed without a problem by me(i am in sri lanka)

you should get some tech help.

the onion is too risqué for sri lanka? you obviously haven't read a sinhalease newspaper!

Rebecca said...

as noted, i have also accessed the listed sites. hooray.

there is, however, the fantastic crazylanka.com which is like an onion for the island--lists itself as the #2 parody news site in sri lanka, after dailynews.com!

sittingnut said...

thanks for pointing out the crazy lanka site (shame about the confusing format though).

as you see you were suffering from a tech problem and not a censorship problem.

you are saddly mistaken about sri lankan moral codes.

academic coach said...

Thank you for mentioning Badger's situation and the fund.

Jason Kuznicki said...

If there is a specific post from Positive Liberty that you would like to read, I would be happy to e-mail it to you. Send a message to jason - at - positiveliberty - dot - com.

Anonymous said...

Crazylanka....not Crazy Lanka!