For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
The Elections Commissioner is contemplating on going to courts against police who ignored his demand to remove all propaganda material by January 7th.
Despite continuous appeals, letters and circulars issued by the Elections Commissioner the police failed to remove the propaganda material in the Ampara, Anuradhapura, Gampaha, Kaluthara and Moneragala districts.
The Most Ven. Thibbatuwave Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera – the Malwatte Chapter Mahanayake Thera of the of Siyam Nikaya, in a letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa regarding the arrest of Ven. Dambara Amila Thera has said it has set a bad precedent to suppress the rights of those with opposing viewpoints.
Tamil journalist J.S. Tissanagayam, who was serving a 20-year prison term, has been released on bail.
A two-member panel of appeal court judges this morning (Jan. 11) considered his application for bail, and freed him on a Rs. 50,000 bail.
Lasantha was murdered on January 8, 2009 in broad daylight as he drove to work. According to witnesses eight men on four motorcycles surrounded his car and bludgeoned him to death. The brutal killing took place some 200 yards from one of Sri Lanka’s largest Air Force bases.
Now a year later, Lasantha’s murder remains unsolved. Indeed, as with the 13 other dissident media workers brutally slaughtered since President Mahinda Rajapaksa assumed the presidency just four years ago, there has been no serious investigation of his murder. And I am confident there will never be one. When the state kills, it kills with impunity.
Dear Mr. President,
As a tax payer and citizen of Sri Lanka, I am deeply concerned by, inter alia, the wasteful nature of your campaign and the manner in which you have manipulated what should in reality be independent authorities, to broadcast propaganda.