12 Jun

Newspaper editor injured in stabbing attack, other journalists forced to flee island

first_imgNews July 29, 2020 Find out more Organisation Sri LankaAsia – Pacific Follow the news on Sri Lanka Receive email alerts The editor of the privately-owned weekly newspaper Rivira, Upali Tennakoon, and his wife were attacked and wounded by four men on motorcycles as they drove to work this morning near Colombo. At the same time it was learned that at least five journalists have fled the country or gone into hiding and a news website had ceased operations because of threats. “We firmly condemn this latest attack on a newspaper editor, which highlights the severity of the crisis that journalists are currently experiencing in Sri Lanka,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The government must conduct an investigation in order to identify those responsible and their motives.”The press freedom organisation added: “It is deplorable that no concrete measures were taken to protect the news media after newspaper editor Lasantha Wickrematunga’s murder two weeks ago. As a result of the climate of fear, the most independent journalists are fleeing the island, and the most outspoken media, such as the news website Lankadissent, are closing.”Tennakoon’s wife Dhammika described the attack after they were taken to Colombo national hospital. “They smashed the windscreen and began to attack us,” she said. “I clung hard to them when they began to hit us with sticks and to stab us.” The assailants carried out the attack after intercepting Tennakoon’s car at Imbulgoda, on the outskirts of the capital.The hospital director said Tennakoon was treated for lacerations to the hands and forehead and that neither he nor his wife, who also sustained injuries, was in a critical condition.President Mahinda Rajapaksa immediately ordered an investigation, officials said. Media minister Anura Yapa said: “We totally condemn this type of attack, and we will do everything possible to find the culprits.”After Wickrematunga, the editor of the Sunday Leader, was gunned down as he drove to work on 8 January, five former US ambassadors to Sri Lanka wrote an open letter to President Rajapaksa urging him to protect press freedom.At least four journalists have recently fled the country after receiving threats. Those known to have left are Upul Joseph Fernando, a political reporter with Lankadeepa, Rathnapala Gamage, another Lankadeepa journalist, Iqbal Athas of the Sunday Times, and Reuters photographer Anuruddha Lokuhappuarachchi.Cheavan Daniel of MTV went into hiding after the Defense secretary accused him of implicating the army in an attack on the station when he gave an interview to CNN. At the same time, the president’s brother, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, described Daniel and the Tamil newspapers Uthayan and Sudar as “terrorists.” Rajapaksa also questioned the honesty of MTV’s management and suggested the station had itself staged the attack on its studios.Lankadissent, a news website with a reputation for being outspoken, chose to suspend its operations on 10 January for fear of reprisals. It employed journalists who were left unemployed when pressure from the authorities forced the newspaper Mawbima to close. January 13, 2021 Find out more News January 23, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Newspaper editor injured in stabbing attack, other journalists forced to flee island RSF_en to go further Sri Lanka: RSF signs joint statement on attacks against human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists Sri Lanka: tamil reporter held on absurd terrorism charge Help by sharing this information July 15, 2020 Find out more News The editor of the privately-owned weekly newspaper Rivira, Upali Tennakoon, and his wife were attacked and wounded by four men on motorcycles as they drove to work this morning near Colombo. At the same time it was learned that at least five journalists have fled the country or gone into hiding and a news website had ceased operations because of threats. Sri Lanka: Journalist manhandled by notorious police inspector currently on trial Sri LankaAsia – Pacific Newslast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *