Sri Lanka media watchdog slams govt, Tamil Tigers

May 03, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Free Media Movement (FMM) has said media freedom in the island remains under threat by both parties to the internal conflict, the government and the Tamil Tigers. In a World Press freedom day statement, the media watchdog urged an immediately halt to all threats, harassment, abductions and attacks against media practitioners and outlets currently being perpetrated by all parties to the conflict.

“It is with deep disquiet that the Free Media Movement recognises the World Press Freedom Day that falls today,” the statement said.

“This day is almost a cruel joke in a country farther away from meaningful press freedom than it has ever been in living memory.

“Sri Lanka today is country at war where all parties to the on-going violent conflict treat media freedom and the freedom of expression, amongst other vital human rights, with scant regard.”

The FMM also called on the government to undertake complete, transparent and timely investigations into the murder of media practitioners and death threats issued against media practitioners and their families.

It also called a halt to the “dangerous and irresponsible practice of publicly vilifying med