Tuesday, February 19, 2013

No progress on media killings, disappearances

Text and Photos by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

"They threatened us; made many disappeared; used bombs and killed our colleagues", protesters shouting slogans against media suppression

Journalists and media organizations protested at Lipton Circus in Colombo demanding for accountability, justice and media freedom at the “Black January” demonstration that has now become an annual event in Sri Lanka. Over the past few years the month of January has been commemorated in this manner, as an unusually large number of attacks on the media occurred during this month.

Eleven journalists and media workers have been killed in Sri Lanka since 2007 according to media right groups. The National Plan of Action to Implement the Recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) 9.155a-c (2) mentions that “complete investigations into current cases” will be carried out. Justice however has not yet been delivered to the families of the journalists who have disappeared or been killed during the past few years. The Government appointed Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission has recognized the importance of restoring the rights of the media in the list of recommendations.

Sri Lanka is placed 162nd in the 2013 World Press Freedom Index by Reporters without Borders (RSF). It was placed 163rd in 2011-2012 World Press Freedom Index.

Attempts were made to contact the Ministry of Mass Media and Communication, and Department of Police to ascertain progress in journalists’ cases, but were unable to get their comments.
"Eknalygoda was abducted by the government", read the placard in Sinhala
Protesters march around Lipton Circus
Lasantha's killers still free
Sandya Eknalygoda, wife of missing Sri Lankan cartoonist Prageeth Eknalygoda at the protest
Portraits of slain journalists
Protest march by journalists against media suppression
Journalists at protest
A piece of black cloth is worn by a journalist to condemn abduction, killing of journalists and against media suppression
Portrait of a slain journalist is carried by a fellow journalist
Journalists demanding justice and media freedom
Journalists protesting at Lipton Circus in Colombo


COURTESY: Vimarsanam-Vimansa ~ Reporting Reconciliation in Sri Lanka


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