Friday, November 30, 2007

Freedom of Speech and Responsibility

During the past few days, we observed an increased level of engagement from our readers and well wishers. We thank all those who posted their comments. The recent comments charged with emotions and a heightened level of passion on both sides of the ethnic divide has renewed calls for moderation on this site. We the DefenceWire Team wish to reiterate our philosophy on this subject.

1. Our primary purpose is to report defense and conflict related issues objectively as possible, while providing an analytical framework for discussions to take place. We strive to bring the most up-to-date information from the source. We do not report from secondary sources or engineer and censor discussions. We strive to keep this site open for constructive discussions and dialogue without any form of manipulation.

2. Therefore, we respect the right and freedom of expression of groups and individuals who comment in this public domain and consult with us individually. Thus, we expect and urge the patrons of this site to be mature and objective while at the same time being sensitive to the feelings of your fellow users.

3. The conflict in Sri Lanka is real and it is natural for individuals and groups on both sides of the ethnic divide to be emotional. This is the reality. It is natural for emotions to run high when discussing certain issues. We do understand that on both sides of the ethnic divide there are moderates, radicals and extremists. While it is possible to engage with moderates and radicals on a constructive dialog, engaging with extremists on both sides of this ethnic divide has been a core issue that cannot be easily overcome. The DefenceWire team understands this and is well aware of the magnanimous hurdles that we have to overcome to bring both these sides to engage in a constructive, civilized and humane dialog process. Thus, we are committed to keep this space open of any one who wants to engage constructively and in a dignified manner.

4. Finally, we strongly believe that our patrons have the intellectual capacities to engage in a constructive civilized dialog taking into consideration the sensitivities of your fellow citizens. It would be an insult to the dignity and intellectual maturity of our readers if we start moderating and censoring comments and we will not do that. We believe that these forms of social interactions are self-moderating and we leave it to the individual’s discretion to use their wise judgment in posting comments

We wish to thank all the readers, policy makers from all ethnic communities, and think tanks who have engaged with us through this bog and in private for your continued constructive engagement.

The DefenceWire Team

14 comments:

hemantha said...

Defencewire team,
"we strongly believe that our patrons have the intellectual capacities to engage in a constructive civilized dialog taking into consideration the sensitivities of your fellow citizens. It would be an insult to the dignity and intellectual maturity of our readers if we start moderating and censoring comments and we will not do that."

Politicians (bright) use the same language when they want to sidetrack from some thing.
At the moment defencenet and LNP do some moderating. That means defencewire is going to be the wild life sanctuary. # of hits wise you will be very successful.(You see defenceanalyst, You too are gradually moving in to the media world). Whatever happens I will visit you so I won’t miss the hot news from Defencewire and great analysis from Defenceanalyst. Good luck.

defenceAnalyst said...

hemantha,

Thank you for the comment. We had a discussion internally on moderating (deleting comments) and we decided against it. DefenceWire even suggested that we should give an ultimatum and if that is not met, to cancel the blog. But we have decided that no comments, adversarial or otherwise will stop this blog, because of the purpose that it serves, uncensored, authentic information! It was only after this deliberation that SDS was asked to write it diplomatically on the blog. It is up to the contributors to ensure that this diplomacy is not wrecked and we are forced to take stricter measures against code violations of decency and mutual respect.

We believe the controversy started with the person identified as 'VP' but have noticed changes in his extremism. He is also not the first extremist to post comments on this blog, therefore we cannot stop at only deleting VP's comments. In a way we are glad to attract Tamil opinion, pro LTTE or otherwise. We believe VP and upul provide interesting insights from the Tamil side that is useful to us. They are welcome in the site BUT they must not be motivated by pure emotion. This goes to everyone else who does the same mistake.

thank you
dA

hemantha said...

Thanks Defenceanalyst, for explaining your position. Hope everything would workout fine. Just don't want to loose a good blog.

tangara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tangara said...

Overwhelming response for Army’s recruitment drive
More than 30,000 youth join Army:

http://www.dailynews.lk/2007/12/01/sec10.asp

Illegal.existence said...

"In a way we are glad to attract Tamil opinion, pro LTTE or otherwise. We believe VP and upul provide interesting insights from the Tamil side that is useful to us."

My opinion, if anyone wants to waste their time arguing with Tamils, LNP is thataway. The good thing about this blog and defencenet is/was that anyone posting here doesn't have to wade through all the crazy Tamil bs (just a few Tamil who pretend not to be Tamils :) I personally would prefer it stays that way.

defenceAnalyst said...

illegal.existence,
Thank you for the comment. Our objective is to be inclusive of ideas because this blog is a learning tool for practitioners in the field of defence/security. In this field, like in everything else, there is no black and white.

In-depth analysis needs quality feedback. This is why a blog was created so that people can respond and engage. When this happens, there's a mutual/interactive learning process. Many of you have provided us valuable insights and have shown us areas where we needed to focus our attention in safeguarding Lanka. Please try to understand our work in that light.

NOLTTE=Peace said...

The difference is, in LTTE wetland, there is no freedom of speech.

If you would spoke against LTTE, you are poof.. done!

NOLTTE=Peace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ninja Bandara said...

Defencewire,

You have a point in your argument. But I would like to make few points.

1.0 Freedom of expression

Freedom of expression doesn't mean you can go to the supreme court and start singing.

2.0 Pro-LTTE attack

It doesn't matter some one is pro-LTTE writting here. I agree it is great if tamil (pro-LTTE and others) participate here. However they should then discuss defence related matters. Problem is not the person but some of their comments which are unreletaed to the topic or defence matters but racist and uncivilized.

I don't think LTTE supporters come here and write how they collect funds, procure and smugle arms, present strenth of LTTE etc.

LTTE supporters (tamil or others) are here and write crap due to one or more of the following.

i) They are emotionaly affected (as observed by DW)
ii) They don't know the objective of this blog or misled.
iii) They want to have some fun and satisfaction by doing so.
iv) They want to respond to some of other comments. (eg. Writting piraba is a fat pig not a defence reletad statement.)
v) They want to disturb the ongoing discussion.

Please note that they are not here to propose a solution to the conflict. If they can do now we must have so many feasable solutions from few years ago from LNP forum.

3.0 Conclusion

Everyone knows there are two sides of this conflict. If you want to write or read on either side's veiw there are so many places in the web. Beleive me, we will not solve the conflict by discussion with pro-LTTE guys in this blog. We just need to get reliable and fast defence related information.

As far as you share true defence related issues it is great service to the country. And as I know we have DW and DN only for this purpose. But if one wants to know the LTTE veiw of the conflict, tamil people's views, political issues there are other places for that. So you don't need to provide a platform such things. You have done/are doing a great job and hope you will continue this within defence related scope.

tangara said...

NinjaBandara,

It is paramount that you contribute to DN/DW in the future..We all enjoy your comments..

Regarding these LTTE diehards, just forget them..In a way LTTE diehards comments make us aquire Tunnel vision to fight them..

Don't you think so?

Did you see my previous comment regarding the bombing of TC in DN..

Panhinda said...

I hope the vacum created after LTTE Radio Transmission is gone will be filled by govt's own radio broadcasts. Good propaganda can halve the time and casualties incurred to win the war.

TropicalStorm said...

Kudos on your mature approach to the rather irritating personal conflicts we are witnessing with greater frequency in these forums.

This is definitely the way to set a precedent for moving our society away from a control mentality, and towards a more tolerant society in which words wage war and conflicts are settled when the tempers subside after exchanging perspectives and intellect surfaces to guide both parties to a mutually acceptable middle ground solution.

While applauding you on this, I further encourage you to refrain from any censorship other than where national security warrants it. The world we live in, makes this necessary unfortunately.

Defencewire said...

tropicalstorm,
Thank you and well done.This makes our work seem worthwhile.

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