Sri Lanka must investigate reported attack on journalist

New York, July 29, 2011 Authorities in Sri Lanka should immediately investigate a reported brutal assault on Gnanasundaram Kuhanathan, news editor of the Tamil-language daily Uthayan, said the Committee to Protect Journalists.

“We are extremely concerned for Gnanasundaram Kuhanathan and hope for his speedy recovery,” said Robert Mahoney, CPJ deputy director.  “For too long Sri Lankan authorities have been indifferent about the targeted attacks, killings and disappearances endured by journalists. That must end.”

Kuhanathan, who was assaulted Friday near his home in northern Sri Lanka by a group wielding iron bars, is being treated for serious head injuries, according to reports on exile-run websites.  Uthayan offices and staff have been attacked repeatedly while reporting in predominantly Tamil northern Sri Lanka, according to CPJ research.  In the past decade, nine murders of journalists in the country have gone unsolved.