Sri Lanka media groups call for end to ‘war on journalists’

June 05, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lankan and international media right groups Thursday said they were outraged by recent military criticism of journalists covering the war and urged the government to stop what they called its ‘hate campaign’. The Free Media Movement (FMM) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) to which it is affiliated said a recent editorial on the Ministry of Defence website that was critical of defence reporting in the media was an unwarranted attack on journalists.

“The Free Media Movement is outraged at the recent statement by the Ministry of Defence that incites violence by claiming that the FMM and other independent media support terrorism and the LTTE,” it said in a statement.

” . . . the statement is the latest from a government increasingly intolerant of investigative and independent journalism.”

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), in a separate statement, said: “Enough is enough. The government must end the war on journalists.”

Sri Lankan defence authorities have in recent weeks become increasingly critical of the coverage of the war against Tamil Tigers which they say is often inaccurate, unfair and undermines morale.

They have said the media reveals unnecessa