For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
By Bob Dietz
Asia Programme Coordinator
Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)
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.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s journalists are under intensive assault. Authorities have failed to carry out effective and credible investigations into the killings of journalists who question the government’s conduct of war against Tamil separatists or criticise 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.
The lack of credible investigations into these crimes is in keeping with a long history of impunity for those who attack journalists in Sri Lanka. With a failure to investigate and a realistic suspicion that government actors are complicit in the violence against journalists, the time has come for the international community to act.
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