Sri Lanka turns CID loose on reporter; rights body outraged

Sept 15, 2007 (LBO) – An international media rights body expressed outrage after police asked a journalist to reveal his sources over a story about a car allegedly imported by a ruling party politician’s son. “After last month’s death threats against investigative journalist Iqbal Athas, this new case shows that it is getting more and more difficult for the media to do their job in Sri Lanka,” the Paris based press freedom organisation Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said.

“Reporters Without Borders is outraged that the police today interrogated Indika Sakalasooriya of the Colombo-based newspaper The Nation about a report that the son of a senior ruling party official imported a British-made luxury car without paying customs duty. The police asked him to reveal his sources.

“We call on the president to publicly condemn the interrogation of The Nation’s journalist. Protection of sources is essential for investigative journalism.”

Police from the Criminal Investigation Department went to The Nation’s offices this morning and asked Sakalasooriya to identify his sources for the story about the Aston Martin imported by a senior official’s son, who was not named.

The report included a photo of t