Sri Lanka newspaper editor ouster worrying: media watchdogs

June 23, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lankan and international media freedom organizations had expressed expressed concern over the removal of an editor of Ceylon Today, a Sri Lankan broadsheet, and said it sought to find out the reasons. œThe dismissal of Lalith Allahakkoon by Ceylon Today is worrying, Reporters without Boraders a Paris based press freedom organization said.

œIf it is merely an internal restructuring issue, as experienced by many media organizations, there would be no reason to intervene, but we fear that it is rather a restriction on news and information and politically-motivated censorship,

Several other staffers, deputy editors Wilson Gnanadass and Dharisha Bastians, and journalists Rasika Jayakody and Dinidu De Alwis, had also expressed concern in writing over the editor’s removal, RSF said.

“The journalist, who received no letter of dismissal, arrived at his office on 16 June to find that access to his computer had been blocked,” RSF said.

RSF said it had written to the management of Ceylon Today seeking the reasons for Allahakoon’s removal and asking what steps are being taken to find a favourable outcome to the issue.

Sri Lanka’s Free Media Movement said it was “deeply worried a