For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
Media organisations in Sri Lanka have urged the authorities to investigate all recent attacks on media personnel and institutions.
The watchdogs say they will stage a protest on 25 January in Colombo against a series of attacks against media personnel in recent years.
It will especially mark “Black January” during which many prominent media personnel were either murdered, disappeared or attacks against media institutions, say the organisers.
Attacks on media in January
Set fire on LankaeNews office – 2011
Abduction of Prageeth elneligoda – 2010
Lasantha Wickrematunga killed – 2009
Bomb attack on Sirasa – 2009
Subramanium Sugeertharajan killed – 2006
Sathasivam Sundaram killed – 1982
The murder of Sunday Leader editor, Lasantha wickrematunga in 2009, disappearance of political columnist Prageeth Ekneligoda in 2010, the attack on Sirasa media network in 2009 and brutal attack on television producer Lal Hemantha Mawalage in 2008 are among the major incidents cited in the statement issued by the watchdogs.
The protesters say they will also urge the authorities to conduct proper investigations into other serious incidents including setting fire to LankaeNews office in 2010 and the attack on Rivira editor Upali Tennakoon in 2009.
The watchdogs also point out that the murder of Tamil parliamentarian T Maheshwaran, the abduction of Akuna journalists Sisira Priyankara, Nihal Serasinghe and Lalith Seneviratne and the former army commander Sarath Fonseka describing certain journalist as “traitors” also happened in January in recent years.