Sri Lanka anti-media violence a conspiracy: President

Sri Lankan Police forming a human chain in parliament to protect the Speaker and enable a vote.

Jan 09, 2008 (LBO) – Violence against media is a conspiracy to pave the way for international involvement in the island’s internal affairs, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. The most recent violence drew widespread condemnation from the United States, the European Union and rights bodies, who called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice, and expressed concern at the silencing of dissenting voices and freedom of expression.

The main opposition United National Party has called for an international probe.

Sri Lanka has been described as one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists after Iraq with a string of unsolved murders of journalists.

He was announcing the capture of Elephant Pass, a narrow neck of land connecting the northern Jaffna peninsular with the rest of the island, from Tamil Tiger guerillas who are engaged in a three decade long separatist conflict.

“There are local and international conspiracies to dilute the win,” President Rajapaksa said in a nation-wide television address.

“When a country is going forward without being controlled by international forces this type of conspiracies happen.”

He said the ki