FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION SRI LANKA

For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya

Journalist Escapes Abduction, Lanka-e-News Faces Closure in Sri Lanka

Unidentified assailants tried to abduct Mawbima reporter Disnendra Perera at his Colombo home in Sri Lanka on May 31, according to local news reports. Perera, a close colleague of missing Lanka-e-News journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda, reported receiving death threats from unknown people demanding he give them a file of documents they claimed Eknaligoda had given him.

According to reports, Perera was not harmed. His mother, who was at home at the time of the attack, has made a complaint to police, who denied police involvement in the raid. The whereabouts and welfare of Eknaligoda, who went missing on January 24, remain unknown. Meanwhile, Lanka-e-News journalists were evicted from their workplace and the organisationís phone lines were cut, in what local media described as a politically motivated shutdown. Lanka-e-News editor Bennet Rupasinghe said the notice was issued despite the organisationís ongoing payment of rent, and prior to the end of the current lease agreement. Former Lanka-e-News editor Sandaruwan Senadheera was forced to flee Sri Lanka recently due to threats on his life.

See: http://asiapacific.ifj.org/en/articles/colleague-of-missing-journalist-under-threat-in-sri-lanka

June 2010
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