Sri Lanka slammed by press body after murder, assaults

January 20, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s inaction after a series of assaults and killings of journalists has left a “dark stain” on the government’s credibility, the International Press Institute warned Tuesday. The media rights group condemned the “culture of impunity and indifference” shown by the government after a senior editor was murdered and a privately run television station was torched in the last month.

“The government must understand that impunity arising from the murder of journalists is not a badge of honour for Sri Lanka,” IPI director David Dadge said.

“It is a dark stain that has come to define the country in the eyes of the international community. The government must act or it risks being irrevocably tarnished by these events.”

The government has launched several high-profile investigations into numerous attacks, but no one has been brought to justice for any of the killings or assaults on journalists in the past two decades.

The IPI also condemned the blackout of independent reporting from the war-hit north and east, where troops are battling to crush Tamil Tiger rebels.

It noted that independent reporters were blocked from the frontlines, journalists covering