For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
Those responsible for injustices and abuses in Sri Lanka war must be held to account – Voice of America Editorial
It has been nearly two years since the end of the conflict between the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a separatist militant organization. “Sri Lanka has made steady progress in normalizing life for its citizens and reconciling the differences that devastated parts of the island for so many years,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake, “but there is much that remains to be done.”
The United States remains concerned over some developments that are shrinking democratic space and respect for human rights in Sri Lanka. The 18th Amendment passed last year weakens checks and balances and abolished term limits, giving unprecedented power to the executive presidency. Substantial parts of the emergency regulations remain in place and the north continues to be heavily militarized.
Media freedom in Sri Lanka remains constrained with continuing incidents against journalists and independent media such as the recent arson attack on Lank-e-news. A media environment in which journalists can work without intimidation or interference, and incidents against journalists are credibly investigated and prosecuted, is essential for the reconciliation process.
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