Posts Tagged ‘journalists’
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.
Thursday, January 22nd, 2009
President Mahinda Rajapakse should order prosecutors to drop all charges against journalists held on politically motivated charges, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the president today. J.S. Tissainayagam, a journalist, and N. Jashiharan, a publisher, and his wife, V. Valamathy, have been in detention since March 2008. The letter identified serious violations of due process and the right to a fair trial by the authorities in Tissainayagam’s case. “Tissainayagam’s arrest was politically motivated and his detention has involved a litany of due process violations,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
Wednesday, January 21st, 2009
The International Press Freedom Mission today condemned a “culture of impunity and indifference” over killings and attacks on journalists in Sri Lanka. Since the beginning of the New Year, both the killing of a senior editor and the attack on the facilities of a popular independent TV channel have led to a total paralysis of the media community. Launching a new report, “Media Under Fire: Press Freedom Lockdown in Sri Lanka”, the International Mission criticised the Government over its inaction and failure to take the attacks, murder and assassination of reporters seriously.
Monday, January 19th, 2009
The International Press Institute joined other leading media rights organisations today in condemning a “culture of impunity and indifference” over attacks on journalists in Sri Lanka. IPI has pushed for action by highlighting in its Justice Denied Campaign the case of Subramaniyam Sukirtharajan, a journalist shot dead in the eastern city of Trincomalee by assailants on a motorcycle on 24 January 2006. “A hostile environment of intolerance by the top political leadership has created a culture of impunity and indifference making every day hunting season for attacks on media staff,” the International Mission said in releasing the report.
Wednesday, January 14th, 2009
The Sri Lankan government is under intense local and international pressure to halt attacks against journalists and media organisations after a newspaper editor was killed and a private television station attacked by unidentified armed gangs. The incidents came as the military announced making significant headway in its battle against Liberation Tiger of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) separatists in the north and northeast of the island. Ground troops took control of the rebels’ main headquarters in Kilinochchi on 2 January and shortly after, a key access route to the northern Jaffna peninsula, Elephant Pass. An offensive to capture the northeastern Mullaitivu District is under way.
Thursday, January 8th, 2009
The murder of Sri Lankan newspaper editor Lasantha Wickramatunga highlights the claim often made by human rights groups that the country is one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists to operate. He is the latest in a long line of Sri Lankan journalists who have been murdered or silenced over the past two decades. Many of the victims have not met their fate in the country’s war zone, because for much of the past 20 years independent journalists have been banned from reporting from the conflict areas.
“…Few reporters would dare write what he did in his most recent editorial - in which he referred to the president’s “bloodthirsty euphoria” following the fall of the Tamil Tiger-held town of Kilinochchi last week.
‘Should we fail meaningfully to address the aspirations of the Tamil people that survive this holocaust, we can be sure as night follows day that history will repeat itself… and all the bloodshed and all the sacrifice made to bring the war to a conclusion will have been in vain,’ he said…”
Thursday, January 8th, 2009
[ RSF ]
Reporters Without Borders is outraged by the murder of Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunga, who was shot dead by two men on a motorcycle as he drove to work this morning in Colombo. “Sri Lanka has lost one of its more talented, courageous and iconoclastic journalists,” Reporters Without Borders said. “President Mahinda Rajapaksa, his associates and the government media are directly to blame because they incited hatred against him and allowed an outrageous level of impunity to develop as regards violence against the press. Sri Lanka’s image is badly sullied by this murder, which is an absolute scandal and must not go unpunished.”
Monday, November 3rd, 2008
[ IPI ]
Media in the North and East of the country have continued to bear the brunt of the worst forms of insecurity. Media access to war-affected areas is heavily restricted with journalists forced to reproduce information disseminated by the conflicting parties. Media are constantly threatened by all parties to the conflict in an effort to curtail independent and critical reporting. The International Mission condemns the murder of P. Devakumar in Jaffna in May 2008, as well as over a dozen other murders documented since 2005. The Mission is worried about the dangerous precedent this sets for all media nationally and internationally.
Wednesday, March 12th, 2008
Reporters Without Borders is concerned about the fate of five Tamil journalists arrested by anti-terrorist police in Colombo in the past six days and urges the Sri Lankan authorities to explain why they are being held. “The anti-terrorist police are accusing the journalists of receiving money from the Tamil Tiger rebels, but after investigating, we can confirm that the funds in question came from a German foundation and from Tamil exiles,” the press freedom organisation said. “We condemn the fact the some of these journalists were badly beaten during their first few days in detention, and that this was clearly done to extract confessions from them.”
Tuesday, March 11th, 2008
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) calls on the Government of Sri Lanka to uphold the legal rights of seven journalists who were taken in for questioning by Sri Lanka’s Terrorist Investigations Department (TID) between March 6 and 8. The journalists were not permitted to notify their families of their whereabouts. The Free Media Movement (FMM), an IFJ affiliate, reported that some of the journalists, most of whom are associated with the news and features website www.outreachsl.com, were held incommunicado for hours.