Govt slams attempt to `tarnish` Lanka`s image over GLF row
Colombo: The Sri Lankan government has
slammed attempts to link the non-participation of Nobel prize
winning author Orhan Pamuk at its annual literary festival to
an alleged lack of free expression and dissent in the country.
The government said Pamuk had declared he was staying
away from Galle Literary Festival (GLF) on January 3, long
before rights groups called a boycott to protest alleged human
rights abuses and lack of free expression and dissent in Sri
"Any attempts to link the non-participation of Orhan
Pamuk at the GLF to an alleged situation about freedom of
expression in Sri Lanka is therefore wholly unfounded, and
only serves the agenda of those seeking to tarnish the image
of Sri Lanka abroad," President Mahinda Rajapakse`s office
The Presidential Secretariat said said Pamuk e-mailed
organisers of the GLF on January 3 to confirm he will not
attend. It was before several fellow authors, including
Arundathi Roy, urged a boycott.
Rights groups, including the Paris-based reporters
without borders, had initiated the boycott saying it was to
protest alleged human rights abuses and the lack of free
expression and dissent in the country.
The GLF organisers were in the meantime making
contradictory statements on why Pamuk and Booker prize winner
Kiran Desai were not attending.
After insisting that the duo were definitely attending
the GLF and dismissing the RSF-led call for a boycott
"frivolous", the organisers then blamed Indian visa
restrictions for their absence.
After Indian diplomats worked behind the scene to put
the record straight, the GLF organisers put out a second
statement today, saying Indian diplomats in Colombo had gone
out of their way to help.
"The Indian High Commission here in Colombo has gone
beyond their call of duty to assist us in this regard,
together with their counterparts in Istanbul," the GLF
"High level assurances of a smooth re-entry for Mr
Pamuk unfortunately were not enough to allay his fears that he
would not be allowed to re-enter India after the festival,"
the GLF said in the second statement.
Pamuk and Desai are attending the Jaipur Literary
Festival in India.
The Galle boycott campaign has been backed by
well-known American linguist Noam Chomsky and controversial
Indian author Roy.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Dr Subhash Chandra Show: Aspiring for more than what you have!
- ISIS to buy first nuclear weapon from Pak?
- Mumbai: CCTV captures assailant with gun at Film City
- Mathura SSP receives death threat letter, message for PM Modi
- Reservation issue: Police register case against Bainsla, 20 others
- Zee Media exclusive chat with 'Welcome to Karachi' cast
- Watch: Fast N Facts @ 7:30pm
- Zee Media exclusive interview with Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar
- Haridwar: Hotel Radisson Blu sealed for polluting Ganga
- Girl in Punjab's Pathankot quit studies for fear of eve-teasing
- Special: Furious over rising water crisis, people take to the streets
- UP Minister allegedly threatens, abuses Gonda businessman
- Manali: Heavy corruption found in environmental taxes
- Couple in Bihar asked to pay Rs 50,000 as 'tax' for inter-caste marriage
- Aapke Sitare: Astro prediction for May 24, 2015
- IPL 2015 Final: MI vs CSK - As it happened...
- IPL 8 Final: We need to be at our best against Mumbai, says Michael Hussey
- Heatwave continues in North India; death toll in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana more than 400
- CBSE.nic.in 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board (cbseresults.nic.in) Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 to be announced on May 25
- Heatwave kills 223 in AP, Telangana, Chandrababu Naidu announces compensation; Delhi records hottest day
- 'Tanu Weds Manu Returns' starts on a good note at the Box Office!
- CBSE 12th Result 2015 to be announced on Monday
- Death threat to PM Narendra Modi ahead of Mathura rally sends police into tizzy
- Organisation demands re-examination of AIPMT 2015
- Standoff with LG: Arvind Kejriwal calls emergency session of Delhi Assembly
- Kejriwal completes 100 days in office, AAP says centre 'shadow boxing' over row with LG
- IPL 2015 final: Mumbai Indians thrash Chennai Super Kings by 41 runs to lift second title
- CBSE Class 12th Board Results 2015 to be announced on Monday, May 25
- Online filing of applications for UPSC civil services exam begins
- IPL 2015: Not easy for fast bowler to win many MOM in one season, says Ashish Nehra