COLOMBO, August 24, 2013 (AFP) – Five armed men held a Sri Lankan newspaper editor at knifepoint as they searched her home on Saturday before police burst in and shot one of the intruders dead, officials said. The latest incident came a day ahead of a fact-finding mission to the island by the UN’s human rights chief Navi Pillay.
Media rights groups have said Sri Lanka remains a dangerous place for journalists despite the end of a decades-long war between the military and Tamil separatist rebels in 2009 and that attacks against journalists and news outlets have continued.
Sri Lanka lifted a state of emergency in 2011, but media activists say journalists have been forced to self-censor their work due to fear of attacks. The attack was the latest in a string of violent incidents involving the staff of the Sunday Leader and media activists said they suspected the incident at the Colombo home of Associate Editor Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema was an attempt to intimidate her.
Police spokesman Buddhika Siriwardena said three officers were injured when the intruders attacked them with knives. “One intruder was shot dead and the other four have been arrested,” he said.
Police described the pre-dawn in