Sri Lanka journalist knifed, media rights bodies appalled

Jan 26, 2008 (LBO) – Media rights bodies have expressed outrage after a journalist attached to a state-run television channel was ambushed on his way home and knifed by two attackers. Lal Mawalage of the Rupavahini television channel had spoken live on behalf of employees when labour minister Mervyn de Silva stormed the newsroom with a group thugs and assaulted the news director of the station, media rights bodies said.

The Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association (SLWJA), the Federation of Media Employees Trade Union (FMETU), Sri Lanka Muslim Media Forum (SLMMF), Sri Lanka Tamil Journalists Alliance (SLTJA) and the Free Media Movement (FMM) said they were “shocked and appalled” by the knife attack last night.

“Our organisations have received credible information that some under-world criminal gangs were planning to attack journalists who played a leading role in protests against the minister and his gang,” the media rights organizations said in a statement.

“Three leading media personnel of the MBC TV and Radio network that covered the incident extensively – the Channel Head of MTV Channel One Chevaan Daniel, Sirasa Director Kingsley Ratnayaka and MTV/MBC News Directo