CPJ protests attacks on Tamil media
A US based media watchdog has called upon the Sri Lankan government to investigate attacks on the Tamil-language newspaper Sudar Oli including the killing of a printing press security guard and assaults on reporters.
Condemning the spate of attacks on the Colombo based newspaper Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) recalls that Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse last week condemned the killing as an assault on freedom of expression.
Calling the attacks "vicious" CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper said "the government has a responsibility to ensure the safety of journalists whose lives are increasingly endangered by political violence."
On August 29, two men lobbed grenades into the building housing the printing press, killing a guard and injuring two other staff members.
On August 21 two grenades were tossed into the paper's advertising office but failed to explode.
On August 30 two parliamentary reporters V. Puththirasigamani and Arumugam Varatharajah were assaulted while they waited for a bus, according to the Colombo-based Free Media Movement (FMM) and international news reports.
One was seriously injured.
Photo journalist Yathurshan Premachchandran was set upon and robbed on August 23 while covering a rally of the Jantha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) in front of a large crowd including local and international journalists.
JVP activists turned the photographer over to the police accusing him of being an LTTE member.
He was released the next day.
A senior Tamil broadcaster and her husband were earleir shot dead by suspected Tamil Tigers in the capital, Colombo.
Relangi Selvarajah, 44, a well-known newsreader worked for government owned Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporarion, and her husband were gunned down around 1300 SLT on 12 August.
Military spokesman Brigadier Daya Ratnayake said the couple, Sinnathurai Selvarajah and his wife were in their shop when armed assailants shot them dead.
Sinnaturai Selvarajah, who has been an activist of the Peoples Liberation Organisation for Tamil Ealam (PLOTE), has left the organisation in 1990 and started his own business in the capital.