“If it is merely an internal restructuring issue, as experienced by many media organizations, there would be no reason to intervene, but we fear that it is rather a restriction on news and information and politically-motivated censorship,”
Several other staffers, deputy editors Wilson Gnanadass and Dharisha Bastians, and journalists Rasika Jayakody and Dinidu De Alwis, had also expressed concern in writing over the editor's removal, RSF said.
"The journalist, who received no letter of dismissal, arrived at his office on 16 June to find that access to his computer had been blocked," RSF said.
RSF said it had written to the management of Ceylon Today seeking the reasons for Allahakoon's removal and asking what steps are being taken to find a favourable outcome to the issue.
Sri Lanka's Free Media Movement said it was "deeply worried and saddened" about the incident. It said cartoonist Wasantha Siriwardene has also been terminated.
"In a context where media institutions are under the jackboot of the government and media freedom is largely suppressed, incidents of this nature do not augur well for the functioning of media," the FMM said.
"Therefore, we urge the Sri Lanka Publishers Association, the Editors Guild of Sri Lanka and other media organizations to set the platform for a dialogue where a consensus can be reached on editorial independence and the rights of newspaper publishers."