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Last updated: 28 March, 2007 - Published 12:42 GMT
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Mawbima suspends publication
The management of the Standard Newspapers Limited has decided to close down Sinhala and English weekly newspapers.

Mawbima and Sunday Standard will not be published until further notice, the management has announced.

Mawbima editor Thilakaratne Kuruvita Bandara has conveyed the decision of the management board to the staff, journalist Daya Lankapura told BBC Sandeshaya.

Mawbima editor Dushantha Basnayake
Basnayake was further remanded by the court on Monday

In last Sunday's edition, Mawbima announced that there was a danger of it being closed down as government has suspended company's bank accounts.

The mangement has filed a FR petition against government's decision to freeze bank accounts.

Finance Director and spokesman for the publication group, Dushantha Basnayake, was arrested and detained under anti-terrorism laws.

International media groups described the arrest as a witch hunt By Sri Lanka authorities.

"The arrest of Dushantha Basnayake, who is close to a political adversary of President Mahinda Rajapakse, looks above all like retaliation," Paris based media watchdog RSF said in a statement.

After sacking two ministers earlier this year, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has strongly criticised Mawbima newspaper.

Munusamy Parameshwaree
Parameshwaree was released without charge after detained over three months

Rajapajaksa said the paper has "plotted" against his life.

The Supreme court last week released a Tamil journalist worked for Mawbima after the prosecution said they had no evidence against her.

Munusamy Parameshwaree was detained over three months under Prevention of Terrorism Act but relaesed without charge.

Mawbima is the first Sinhala newspaper that was forced to close down within the last three decades.

Prime minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike sealed "Davasa" newspaper in late 70s accusing the paper of supporting the main opposition.

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