Sri Lanka rights body slams opposition, police, over media intimidation

Nov 09, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Free Media Movement said newspapers are not obliged to carry party statements after opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe pulled up a journalist for not publishing a party statement. “The Free Media Movement learns that UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has pulled-up Daily Mirror lobby correspondent for not publishing the UNP statement on the budget,” FMM said.

“The UNP leader had reportedly said that Daily Mirror is worse than Daily News indicating that the paper is being partial to the government and had added that he would issue a letter to mark his protest over the matter.”

“The FMM wishes to remind all political leaders that newspapers are not under obligation to carry party statements and expresses concern over the manner the main opposition tries to intimidate media.”

The rights body also expressed its concern over an incident in Tissamaharamaya where villagers had allegedly assaulted two journalists from Sirasa TV after a senior police incited them.

The Free Media Movement is disturbed over the fact that two incidents where the freedom of media was threatened, had taken place Thursday.

“The FMM condemns it as a violation of the people’s right to in