Ordeal of Sri Lankan journalist shows threat to media from counter terrorism laws; rights body

Mar 22, 2007 (LBO) – The arrest of a journalist who was held without charge for four months and released today, underscored the threat to media freedom from Sri Lanka’s counter terrorism laws, a media rights body said. “We note with deep regret that because of these baseless public allegations the family and friends of Parameshwaree will invariably continue to face a great deal of public opprobrium and ridicule.”

The Mawbima newspaper is owned by a close ally of former Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera who was stripped of his portfolios earlier this year.

Munusami Parameshwaree, an ethnic Tamil journalist working for the Sinhala newspaper Mawbima was arrested by the Terrorist Investigation Division of Sri Lanka police, on November 21 last year on allegations of having connections with terrorists.

“Parameshawaree’s release is a triumph for truth and justice, and also demonstrates the clear danger of the draconian anti-terrorism and emergency regulations, which are a serious, and continuing threat to media freedom in Sri Lanka,” the Free Media Movement (FMM) said in a statement.

“While the FMM is pleased that a