FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION SRI LANKA

For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya

Assault on DM journalist-Opposition expresses concern

Saturday, 08 May 2010
By Kelum Bandara & Yohan Perera

The opposition yesterday expressed concern over the assault on Daily Mirror senior journalist Sandun Jayasekara, and urged the government to bring perpetrators to book as soon as possible.

Speaking in Parliament during the adjournment motion debate on journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda who had been missing, DNA MP Sunil Handunnetti said Mr. Jayasekara was the latest victim of violence against media men in Sri Lanka. He urged the government to create a conducive atmosphere for journalists to practise their profession independently.

UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara who seconded the motion said the authorities concerned
had failed to arrest those responsible for this incident yet.

UPFA MP A.H.M. Azwer said he too condemned this incident.

“Sandun Jayasekara is my friend. I condemn this incident,” he said.

However, Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella did not mention anything about the assault on Mr. Jayasekara.

Meanwhile, the police are yet to record statements from PSD officers who are alleged to have assaulted senior Daily Mirror journalist Sandun Jayasekara.

Media Minister Rambukwella told journalists yesterday he was also concerned about the assault on Mr. Jayasekara and that he would take up the matter with the PSD.

“I don’t justify what happened to Sandun and I know this will not be the first or the last time that such incidents will take place. However as the media minister, I will do whatever it takes to minimize this type of activity,” Minister Rambukwella said.

When contacted by Daily Mirror the Maharagama police refused to give any information on the investigations being carried out on this assault.

Police media spokesman Preshantha Jayakody said the PSD had also lodged a complaint at the Maharagama police station and that the Maharagama police were conducting the investigations.

Mr. Jayasekera was discharged from Colombo National Hospital on Thursday.

Meanwhile statements had been recorded by the hospital police and the Maharagama police.

Mr. Jayasekara made a complaint at the Colombo National Hospital police post on Wednesday on his alleged assaulted by a group of PSD personnel at the Maharagama Cancer Hospital when he was covering an event which was attended by the president.

When contacted by Daily Mirror a PSD spokesman said Mr. Jayasekara was assaulted after he violently confronted a PSD officer but this allegation was denied by Mr. Jayasekara
http://www.dailymirror.lk/print/index.php/news/front-page-news/10094-opposition-expresses-concern-.html

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