Sri Lankan political crisis threatens media independence

first_img Sri Lanka: Journalist manhandled by notorious police inspector currently on trial That evening, they forced journalists at the Daily News and the Lake House group’s two leading weeklies, Silumina and Sunday Observer, to change the front pages of their next issues. The Sunday Observer’s editor, Dharisha Bastians, was made to surrender complete editorial control. Headlines, photos and editorials in the next issues all hailed the former president’s return to power. Helped by union leaders linked to the SLPP, they took control of the two public service TV channels, Rupavahini and ITN, the radio stations that are part of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, and the Lake House press group. January 13, 2021 Find out more “Your time is done” Journalists have found themselves at the centre of the political power struggle that began when President Maithripala Sirisena fired Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe on 26 October and replaced him with Rajapaksa, who earned a prominent position on RSF’s list of the world’s biggest press freedom predators during two terms as president, from 2005 to 2015. News Contrary to the promises that President Sirisena gave when installed in 2015, almost all of the crimes of violence against journalists have remained unpunished. Just minutes after Rajapaksa was sworn in as prime minister, supporters of his party, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), led by former information minister Keheliya Rambukwella, invaded the newsrooms of various state media. News News Impunity RSF_en Receive email alerts July 29, 2020 Find out more The front pages of several Sri Lanka dailies on the day after the new prime minister’s appointment testify to their loss of editorial independence (photo: Lakruwan Wanniarachchi / AFP). Sri Lanka: RSF signs joint statement on attacks against human rights defenders, lawyers and journalistscenter_img RSF has just published a survey of media ownership in Sri Lanka, which is ranked 131st out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index. “We cannot forget the state terror against journalists during the rule of Mahinda Rajapaksa,” Lasantha Ruhunage, the deputy editor of the newspaper Anidda and former head of the Sri Lanka Working Journalists’ Association, told RSF. “So many journalists were harassed, attacked, and killed. There are reported cases of disappeared journalists.” Sri LankaAsia – Pacific Protecting journalistsMedia independenceProtecting sources Conflicts of interest Follow the news on Sri Lanka Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges the Sri Lankan authorities to respect journalists’ safety and editorial independence after supporters of Mahinda Rajapaksa – the new prime minister, whose appointment is being disputed – invaded state media outlets on 26 October in order to seize control of them. to go further At the time, ITN deputy general manager Subhash Jayawardena was warned by SLPP activists that he and his colleagues would be attacked if they did not leave the TV station immediately. They finally managed to escape, but not without first facing a threatening crowd that chanted: “Your time is done!” Organisation Sri Lanka: tamil reporter held on absurd terrorism charge Help by sharing this information October 30, 2018 Sri Lankan political crisis threatens media independence News Sri LankaAsia – Pacific Protecting journalistsMedia independenceProtecting sources Conflicts of interest July 15, 2020 Find out more “The violence with which Mahinda Rajapaksa’s bully boys took over the state media is absolutely unacceptable,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. “We call on all parties to act responsibly by guaranteeing journalists’ safety and by respecting their editorial independence, so that impartial news coverage is available to the public. Sri Lanka’s journalists are very worried because the current constitutional crisis recalls the darkest hours of Rajapaksa’s presidency.”last_img read more

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