For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
(Lanka-e-News, 31,Jan.2011, 3.25AM -2nd edition 31Jan.10.30AM) Lanka e news website has been set on fire this early morning (31) at about 2.00 a.m. by a group of unidentified individuals.
Consequently , the main office of the website comprising the computer Hall and the most precious and valuable Library have been completely destroyed. The building where the office was maintained is so badly damaged that it is not in a state for continuation of website operations .
By now it has become very clear that the fire has been created by the use of fuel – petrol .The arsonists have broken open the front door and entered the premises to commit the crime.
Following the explosion of a screen of a computer sounding like a bomb when the fire was raging , the neighborhood have woken up. Though they have tried to douse the flames they had not been successful. After the neighbors have informed the police emergency unit of the incident the police had arrived. The Editor of the website has complained to the OIC Upul Perera of the Koswatte police over the phone. The owner of the premises too has lodged a complaint with the police.
It is reported that two unidentified suspicious looking individuals had been hovering around the Lanka e news premises yesterday (30) and had inquired about the staff from a shop.
It is well to note that under the President Rajapakse regime the free media had suffered most and sustained losses to persons and property on an unprecedented scale in the media history of Sri Lanka.
Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickremetunge and 13 media personnel have been killed since this Govt. came to power. Professional Journalists Association Secretary was abducted and his legs were broken. Lanka e news political columnist went missing. Sirasa media was attacked and a claymore bomb was hurled at it. Udayan newspaper establishment was set on fire and its journalists were murdered. The Siyata media too came under an arson attack. Now the latest victim in the series of attacks and arson is Lanka e news . This certainly reflects poorly on the Govt.
particularly because , while these attacks on the media had been ruthlessly escalating the Govt. had clearly demonstrated an incapacity to bring the culprits to book . It constitutes an indelible black mark against the Govt.
It is specially noteworthy as in other media tragedies so in this attack , so far no arrests have been made or any case filed.