Sri Lanka asked by US, EU to stop media suppression

July 2, 2012 (LBO) – The European Union and the United States has called upon Sri Lanka not to suppress media and limit freedom of expression, after the arrest of journalists working for two websites critical of the ruling administration. The two websites are linked to Sri Lanka’s main opposition United National Party.

“The Heads of Mission of the European Union have noted with concern the action taken against the Sri Lanka Mirror and the Lankanews websites,” the EU said in a statement.

“Freedom of the media is a vital element in democratic societies and journalists must be able to carry out their legitimate work without fear of harrassment or intimidation.

“Any action intended to intimidate independent journalism and or limit freedom of expression is in contradiction to UN human rights standards.”

The US embassy said it was closely following case.

“We have raised on several occasions our deep concern over efforts to suppress independent news media, including the blocking of news websites, intimidation, and disappearances of journalists,” the US embassy said in a statement.

“The United States believes that an uncensored and independent media available to all citizens is an indispensable part of any vibrant