Sri Lanka police questioning of editor over Goldquest expose deplorable: rights body

May 16, 2007 (LBO) – Police has questioned a newspaper editor over reporting of the activities of the Goldquest scheme in Sri Lanka, and a subsequent controversial investigation by the country’s Central Bank. “Ms. Samarasinghe’s right to publish information as she sees fit in her capacity as a professional journalist, is no exception to the cardinal rule of the freedom of expression enjoyed by all citizens, a vital cornerstone in media freedom.” Sri Lanka’s Free Media Movement protested the questioning of Sonali Samarasinghe, the editor of the Morning Leader newspaper Wednesday, describing the move as ‘deplorable’ and a chilling attempt to undermine media freedom and democracy.

FMM said Samarasinghe had been questioned for over four hours based on a complaint ostensibly under Sri Lankan Monetary Law made by the Central Bank in relation to a series of investigative articles published in the Sunday Leader and Irudina newspapers last year.

“While the FMM would have liked to see the CID and Police extend their fullest support to a public investigation into the dealings of Goldquest in Sri Lanka, it is perversely not the case,” the Free Media Movement said.

“This incident is indicative of the cha