Attacks on the Press
| Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka's increasingly violent political climate has heightened the danger for the country's journalists. The 16-year-old civil war between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a guerrilla movement fighting for a separate homeland for the country's ethnic Tamil minority, continued, and has so far claimed more than 61,000 lives.
On December 18, two young camera assistants, Indika Pathinivasan of the Maharaja Television Network and Anura Priyantha of the Independent Television Network, were killed while covering an election rally for President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga. Both journalists were fatally wounded by shrapnel from a suicide bomb whose intended target was Kumaratunga; the president was injured in the attack, which was believed to have been orchestrated by the LTTE. Another three Sri Lankan journalists were killed by assassins in 1999. CPJ continues to investigate their cases, to determine whether the murders were linked to the journalists' work.