FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION SRI LANKA

For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya

Army’s name used to repress media – Fonseka

Former Army chief Sarath Fonseka alleges that during the war period, president Mahinda Rajapaksa had implicated the Army for media attacks to give the impression that it had been responsible for media repression.

Mr. Fonseka has made the allegation in an interview with BBC Sandeshaya, stressing the Army had no need to get involved in minor, unimportant, unlawful acts in Colombo.

BBC Sandeshaya had inquired from him about assaults on journalists Keith Noyr and Namal Perera.

At that time, opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told parliament that both were works of the military intelligence.

Such claims were based on remarks by president Rajapaksa, who had invited journalists to Temple Trees and told them that he would not intervene if they got into trouble with the Army, said Mr. Fonseka.

It is the government’s responsibility to find and punish those responsible for the media attacks, and also the allegations contained in the Channel 4 documentaries, he said further.

SLM

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