For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
An unidentified group of thugs has broken the locks at the Lankaenews office in Daham Mawatha, Malabe, and set fire to all the files, computers and other equipments. The group has thereafter set fire to the office building.
The incident has occurred about 2am on Monday. When the neighbors arrived and tried to extinguish the fire, the whole office has been burnt. Moments before the incident, an unidentified person who called its news editor Bennet Rupasignhe has threatened him with death.
When contacted, Thalangama police told LankaNewsWeb that so far it has received no complaint over the attack. The owner of the house is thought to be living in the United States and therefore nobody is there to lodge a complaint, a police officer at duty said.
The Lankaenews that heavily criticized the president, Sri Lanka government and its corruption has come under constant threats and intimidation in recent months. Freelance journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda who worked for the website was abducted a year ago and he is still missing. Its editor Sandaruvan Senadheera had to leave the country due to threats to his life. The office which was in Rajagiriya, Colombo, was shifted to Malabe as a result of continuous government threats.
A journalist who informed LankaNewsWeb on the attack said that the recent revelations about the President’s trip to the USA and his illness and the revelation about the murders of two gang leaders “Kata Roshan” and “Mocha” who were close associates of Defence Ministry’s monitoring MP Duminda Silva might be the immediate reasons for the attack.