Banned books and other forms of censorship

On the banning of books, censorship and other freedom of access issues

Monday, December 18, 2006

Senior UNESCO advisor wants book banned

Senior advisor to UNESCO and former Sri Lanka president Chandrika Bandaranaike-Kumaratunga is seeking to ban a book which describes corruption, misdeeds and human rights abuses under her tenure in Sri Lanka. The book, Choura Regina ("Rogue Queen") is written by Victor Ivan, a well-known journalist in Sri Lanka. In a Nov. 12 interview with the Sunday Leader newspaper, she said the book contained "absolute filth" about her and that she would write to the Sri Lanka president to ask why the book was not banned.

In a letter to UNESCO director general Koïchiro Matsuura, Free Media Movement convenor Sunanda Deshapriya said that while Ms. Bandaranaike-Kumaratunga was within her rights to express her displeasure with the book or to seek appropriate legal redress, her effort to ban the book was directly contrary to UNESCO's advocacy "of the basic human right of freedom of expression, enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and its corollary, press freedom."

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