For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
16th March 2010
The Free Media Movement (FMM) expresses its serious concern on opinions stated by national and international human rights organisations on a list in circulation under the heading of “media activists, institutional heads and international outreach”.
FMM has come to know that 28 out of 31 individuals named in the list are related to media. According to our sources 13 members of FMM are in the list. Every individual in the list has given a numerical rating ranging from 6+ to 9+. According to newspaper reports names of both FMM secretary Sunil Jayasekara and convenor Chulawansa Sirilal are in the list. In addition names of two FMM executive committee members are also in the list.
FMM decided to express its concern as the government has not yet responded to number of quires from various organisations to ascertain that whether such an list exist. Further it has been reported to the FMM that Sri Lankan government delegation participating in 13th session of Geneva human rights commission these days has not responded to concerns raised by several organisations regarding the alleged list of media personal and NGO heads.
FMM does not know which agency has prepared this list. But the fact remains that almost all media personal named in the list have faced various levels of threats because of their professional work during the recent past. In general media and journalists in Sri Lanka has been facing continuous intimidations and threats over the past years. It is in this context FMM expresses its serious concerns over this alleged list.
FMM request that the government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) state whether if any government intelligence agency has prepared such a list and if so for what purpose. At the same time FMM reiterate its demand that GOSL reaffirm its commitment to media freedom and journalists safety not only by words but also in deeds.
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