For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
21 June 2011
The New York-based media rights group Committee to Protect Journalists has called for an international inquiry into the death of LTTE television presenter, who was allegedly executed by government forces.
A documentary by Britain’s Channel 4, “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields”, contained footage of what it said were prisoner executions in the final days of fighting between government troops and separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009.
The bullet-riddled body of a female TV anchor known as Issipriya was shown alongside men in Sri Lankan army uniform.
“Channel 4 has provided solid evidence that Issipriya was murdered and that a war crime may have been committed,” Bob Dietz of the CPJ said in a statement.
“Moreover, she was reportedly working as a journalist. It is essential that an international inquiry make use of this and any other evidence to investigate and prosecute those responsible.”
Issipriya was a presenter on a clandestine television station run by the LTTE, but Sri Lanka’s defence ministry has maintained that the woman was not a journalist but a combatant of the LTTE who held the rank of “lieutenant colonel.”