16 results arranged by date

Attacks on the Press in 2008: Sri Lanka

A 2002 cease-fire between the predominantly Sinhalese government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which claims territory for an ethnic Tamil homeland, was abandoned in January. Ethnic Tamil journalists perceived as supporting independence have long been under murderous attack, but 2008 brought an escalation in physical and verbal attacks on mainstream journalists who…

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Lasantha's colleagues hold his portrait after his death. (Amarasinghe/AP)

And then they came for Lasantha

Lasantha Wickramatunga was gunned down in his car last week on his way to work. According to colleagues, his attackers used an automatic pistol equipped with a silencer. After they smashed in one of his car windows, they repeatedly shot Lasantha at close range. Somehow he didn’t die on the spot. He died about three…

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Diplomatic pressure needed to protect journalists

New York, January 8, 2009–With today’s murder of the editor-in-chief of the The Sunday Leader newspaper, the Committee to Protect Journalists called on concerned ambassadors in Colombo to weigh in forcefully and immediately with President Mahinda Rajapaksa to put an end to the attacks raining down on Sri Lanka’s media. 

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Attack on broadcaster needs independent inquiry

New York, January 6, 2009–Following today’s early morning assault by about 15 masked gunmen on Sirasa TV’s studios outside the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, the Committee to Protect Journalists called for an independent, nonpartisan parliamentary board of inquiry to investigate. 

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In Sri Lanka, CPJ saddened by death of journalist

We issued this statement today after learning of the death of Rashmi Mohamed, a provincial correspondent for Sirasa TV. He was one of 27 people who died when a suspected rebel suicide bomber blew himself up today inside a crowded opposition party office in Anuradhapura in northern Sri Lanka. “We join with our Sri Lankan…

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Press freedom in Sri Lanka continues to deteriorate

Dear President Rajapaksa, The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by your government’s policies toward journalists who write critically about the conflict between Sri Lanka’s military forces and Tamil secessionists. We have seen an increase in harassment, intimidation, and detention of reporters, many of whom are columnists in senior positions with well-established careers. Police have failed to investigate threats to journalists who cover elections or expose alleged corruption or misdeeds. They have also never investigated the death of a television journalist.

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