Sri Lanka president urged to stop ‘war on journalists’

April 10, 2008 (LBO) – A host of media rights groups from around the world have written to Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse urging him to ‘stop the war on journalists’ and probe a spate of recent attacks on the island’s media. “The international press freedom and human rights community is extremely concerned that journalists and media workers in Sri Lanka are daily confronting grave threats to the safety of themselves and their families,” the organisations said in the joint letter.

“As a result of our concerns and common interest in defending the rights of journalists and others across the world and in Sri Lanka, we have joined forces in an international
campaign to Stop the War on Journalists in Sri Lanka.”

The letter, released to the media, said that the failure of Sri Lanka’s security personnel to act to prevent threats and attacks on journalists and to bring those responsible to
account indicates that “the state has relinquished its role as keeper of the peace.”

They asked Rajapakse to “take urgent action” to remedy what they called “this appalling situation” and direct the government and police to abide by Sri Lanka’s commitments to uphold the human rights of journalists in accordance with international