MBC Group Will No Longer Broadcast Turkish Series

Rabat – To the surprise of many Moroccan and Arab viewers, MBC Group has suspended broadcasting of Turkish TV series, reports Al Jazeera today, Wednesday, March 8.The chairman of the Dubai-based group i, Waleed Al Ibrahim, announced the decision following his release tied to a mass arrest that swept the Gulf countries a few months ago.According to Allied Media Corp., Moroccan viewers of MBC are the largest audience the group receives. The household watching MBC  were estimated at 2,344,500, while the potential audience in Morocco reaches sweeping 9,378,000. While Al Ibrahim did not justify his decision, MBC spokesman Mazen Hayek told The Associated Press on Monday that “There is a decision to remove all Turkish drama off several TV outlets in the region,” adding that he cannot confirm who took the final decision.For him, “This may be an incentive for Arab producers to create high-level Arabic drama that can be a good alternative to those taken off the air,” according to Asharq Al-Awsat news outlet.He explained one episode of an Arabic series costs between USD 40,000 and USD 100,000. Meanwhile, producing an episode of Turkish soap opera costs a minimum of USD 250,000.Al Jazeera reports that MBC’s decision is fueled by underlying politics, as relations between Saudi Arabia and Turkey “are at a low,” in light of Turkey’s support of Qatar as Saudi Arabia imposes a blockade on its neighboring gulf county.The Turkish Minister of Culture responded saying  that “it is not a couple of politicians who are supposed to decide who will watch which movies or shows from their desks.” read more

South Africa responds to LLRC report

The South African Government has noted the release of the final report of the Sri Lankan Commission of Inquiry on Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation (the Commission of Enquiry) and the positive recommendations contained in the report relating to human rights, the return and resettlement of displaced communities, restitution and compensatory relief for the affected people, and post-conflict reconstruction and nation-building.The report, however, should have addressed in more detail the question of holding those people responsible for human rights violations to account. The South African Government calls on the Sri Lankan Government to speedily implement the measures as recommended. The solution to the challenges facing the people of Sri Lanka at this critical juncture lies in a genuine and inclusive dialogue among all the people and political parties in Sri Lanka. To this end, South Africa encourages the Government and people of Sri Lanka to create a conducive environment, inside and outside Sri Lanka, that will allow for a meaningful and sustainable political settlement that will lead to a constitution that will be acceptable to all Sri Lankans.In a spirit of partnership and cooperation, South Africa stands ready to share its experience and work with the people of Sri Lanka as they embark on this journey of building a truly reconciled and united people and nation. The Commission of Enquiry  was established by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in May 2010,  among other things,  to look into the facts and circumstances which led to the failure of the ceasefire agreement between the Sri Lankan Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on 21 February 2002 and the sequence of events that followed thereafter up to the 19th of May 2009 (when the LTTE was defeated in a bloody civil war); whether any person, group or institution directly or indirectly bears the responsibility for alleged human rights abuses especially towards the end of the war;  whether there are any lessons to be learned from those events in order to ensure that there will be no repeat of these events; the methodology whereby restitution to any person affected by those events can be effected; the institutional, administrative and legislative measures to be taken to prevent any recurrence of such concerns in the future;  and to promote national unity and reconciliation among all communities. The South African Government commends the Sri Lankan Government for the decision to set up an authoritative mechanism to further investigate allegations related to human rights abuses and encourages decisive actions upon the findings. read more