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Last updated: 24 November, 2005 - Published 19:11 GMT
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RSF slams Mahinda on media freedom
Newly appointed president Mahinda Rajapaksha should be criticised for not doing enough to protect journalist says Reporters without borders (RSF)

Reporters Without Borders today urged Commonwealth heads of government to see that people killing journalists because of their work were duly punished, so the Commonwealth could become “a true home of democracy and freedom.”

It noted that 15 journalists had been killed in member-states Bangladesh, Gambia, India, Pakistan, Sierra Leone and Sri Lanka since the last summit in December 2003 and that virtually all the killers were still walking free.

“Drastic steps must be urgently taken to penalise member-states that do not make genuine efforts to ensure press freedom and the safety of journalists.” says the Paris based media watch dog.

protest -killing of D.Sivaram
D.Sivaram -Kidnaped and killed

Killings in East

In its statement the RSF has it highlighted the killing of Dharmeratnam Sivaram, 46, editor of the news website TamilNet and a columnist in the Daily Mirror.

Speaking to BBCSandeshaya, head of the Asia desk of RSF Vincent Brossel said that there may be others involved in the killing.

Brossel said “He said all those involved should be bought to justice”

Asked why the statement has failed to mention killings of Thinamurasu news paper distributors killed in the east Brossel said “Iam not sure if they were carrying out a journalistic duty”.

He said they were carders of the Eleam Peoples Democratic front distributing the party news paper,

protest in Colombo
Relangi Selvaraja -protest in Colombo

Commenting on the killing of broadcaster Relangi Selvaraja ,Brossel said that he was not very sure if her journalistic activities led to the assassination of her and her husband.

The Director General of UNESCO was among those who condemned the killing of Relangi Selvaraja, a presenter of the state run radio and television.

He added that the RSF does not condone attacks blamed on Tamil Tigers

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