Posts Tagged ‘journalist’
Friday, April 17th, 2009
The government’s propaganda agents ridicule all international agencies that attempt to draw attention to this situation. Meanwhile the freedom of the press in the country is suppressed and large numbers of journalists have even fled the country, thus preventing any local attempts to provide information to society on such deaths, and keep society involved in trying to overcome the present situation. In Sri Lanka the distinctions between misfortune, tragedy and catastrophe have been lost. By whatever name, what goes on is a saga of limitless misery with no foreseeable possibility of any end. Life is just a dip into a highly polluted river, but no one seems to worry about it anymore.
Saturday, March 7th, 2009
[Committee to Protect Journalists]
The Sri Lankan government should release a journalist and his two colleagues who have spent a year behind bars on terrorism charges for publishing magazine articles, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Terrorist Investigation Division forces arrested Vettivel Jasikaran, manager of the news Web site OutreachSL, and his companion, Vadivel Valamathy, both ethnic Tamils, on March 6, 2008, according to local and international news reports and press freedom groups. Their colleague, Tamil columnist and OutreachSL editor J.S. Tissainayagam, was detained when he visited them the next day.
Friday, February 27th, 2009
[Committee to Protect Journalists]
As the Sri Lankan government steps up its war with the LTTE, assaults on
journalists are on the rise. So are suspicions that the government is
complicit in these attacks.
Sri Lanka’s journalists are under intensive assault. Authorities have failed to carry out effective and credible investigations into the killing of journalists who question the government’s conduct of a war against Tamil separatists or criticize the military establishment. Three attacks in January targeting the mainstream media drew the world’s attention to the problem, but top journalists have been killed, attacked, threatened, and harassed since the government began to pursue an all-out military victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in late 2006. Many local and foreign journalists and members of the diplomatic community believe the government is complicit in the attacks.
Monday, February 16th, 2009
[Reporters Without Borders]
Reporters Without Borders today expressed revulsion at the death of a Tamil journalist in a Sri Lankan Army bombardment on the north of the country, which it described as a “war crime”. Punniyamurthy Sathyamurthy was killed during an air raid on 12 February on Thevipuram, Mullaithivu district in the region of Vanni, being fought over by the army and rebel Tamil Tigers (LTTE). He had recently filed news of the plight of civilians in the latest wave of fighting. “Army air strikes and artillery fire on areas where there are tens of thousands of civilians, including Tamil journalists, are war crimes” the worldwide press freedom organisation said.
Monday, February 9th, 2009
There had been previous incidents, threats and warnings scrawled in red paint. And on that very morning, when they had driven before work to the chemist’s shop, two sinister-looking men on a large black motorbike raced past their car. Lasantha Wickrematunga, a newspaper editor, and his wife, Sonali Samarasinghe, were convinced they were being tailed.
Back in their home, Mrs Wickrematunga, who is also a journalist, pleaded with her husband to stay at home. But it was a Thursday - a vital production day at her husband’s Sunday newspaper - and he had to go. “See you in the office,” she said as he left. Thirty minutes later she received a phone call telling her he had been fatally shot as he made his way to the office on the outskirts of Colombo. She rushed to the hospital and found her husband on a trolley, blood seeping from his mouth and ears. Doctors struggled to save him, but there was nothing they could do.
Sunday, January 25th, 2009
Sri Lanka is in the grip of its biggest military offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels, but the country’s journalists are also facing an unprecedented battle of their own. Since the killing of the anti-war Sunday Leader editor Wickrematunga on January 8, at least eight senior journalists and media activists have fled the island, fearing that they too could be targeted by unidentified attackers. Both local and international media rights groups have joined in demanding thorough investigations and an end to the culture of impunity that has encouraged attacks against the independent media over the years.
Saturday, January 24th, 2009
The United States said it was “appalled” by violence against journalists in Sri Lanka, after an editor was stabbed on Friday, the third attack on the country’s media this month. “The United States is appalled by continuing physical attacks and threats against media personnel in Sri Lanka,” State Department acting spokesman Robert Wood said in a statement. “These serious reports are disturbing indicators of the deteriorating atmosphere for media independence in Sri Lanka.” “We call on the government of Sri Lanka to protect all of its citizens by enforcing law and order, preventing intimidation of the media, and by conducting swift, full and credible investigations into attacks on journalists and other civilians,” the State Department said.
Friday, January 16th, 2009
A crusading Sri Lankan journalist shot dead last week knew he would be killed — he said so in a dramatic, posthumously published column touching a raw nerve in his war-torn island nation. Lasantha Wickrematunga, editor-in-chief of The Sunday Leader, was gunned down execution-style January 8 but spoke from the grave three days later when the newspaper published “And Then They Came For Me.” That posthumous column anticipated his slaying by government forces and defended the craft of journalism in his country, a profession under fire during its bitter civil war.
Thursday, January 15th, 2009
THE good that men do is not always interred with their bones. This week saw the publication of a remarkable posthumous column by Lasantha Wickrematunge, a Sri Lankan newspaper editor. He had written it in anticipation of his own murder. That duly came on January 8th, when gunmen on motorcycles shot him on his way to work in the capital, Colombo. He was a brave campaigning journalist. And like too many brave campaigning journalists in Sri Lanka, he is now dead. But at least from the grave he has left an eloquent warning to the government, led by a man he called ‘friend’, President Mahinda Rajapaksa…
Monday, January 12th, 2009
Lasantha Wickrematunge, a prominent Sri Lankan journalist and outspoken critic of the government’s war on ethnic Tamil rebels, knew he was marked for death — and thought he knew why. Three days after he was gunned down execution-style, Wickrematunge’s newspaper published a haunting, self-written obituary Sunday in which he says he was targeted for his writings and adds: “When finally I am killed, it will be the government that kills me.” Even as Sri Lanka savors battlefield victories over Tamil Tiger rebels that offer hope of finally ending the decades-long civil war, the government is coping with attacks on another front: It faces harsh criticism from abroad, from at home — even from the grave — over high-profile attacks on the independent media.