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Last updated: 09 January, 2009 - Published 13:33 GMT
 
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US, UK, India condemn attacks
 
British High Commissioner, Dr. Peter Hayes
British HC says he unreservedly condemn the 'brutal assassination'
Britain, US and Indian governments and media watchdogs have condemned the recent attacks on media in Sri Lanka.

British High commissioner in Colombo, Dr. Peter Hayes, told BBC Sandeshaya in London that he “unreservedly condemn” the killing of Sunday Leader editor and attack on Sirasa TV station.

Dr. Hayes added that he welcomed the “commitment” by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to investigate the attacks.

“But for me the crucial message was that for any democracy to be able to function you must have the freedom of the media,” he said.

US State Department
US says there are attempts to quell independent voices in Sri Lanka

Lasantha Wickramatunga was shot dead in Colombo by unidentified gunmen on Thursday and an armed group has attacked private media station, MBC, early morning on Tuesday.

The British envoy said it is the responsibility of the government, in any country, to investigate such attacks and punish the culprits.

“In any country, the government is held responsible for law and order and whoever is behind these attacks, the government is rightly caught to account to bring them to an end,” he told BBC Sinhala service.

The United States government has condemned the killing of the editor of a newspaper in Sri Lanka that's often critical of the government.

 In any country, the government is held responsible for law and order and whoever is behind these attacks, the government is rightly caught to account to bring them to an end
 
British High Commissioner, Dr. Peter Hayes

A State Department spokesman, Robert Wood, described the fatal shooting of Lasantha Wickramatunga as a deplorable act, calling it the latest in a series of attempts to quell independent voices in Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan government condemned the killing, but the media rights group, Reporters Without Borders, blamed it for what it called the incitement of hatred against Mr. Wickramatunga.

Indian response

His killing comes two days after the offices of a privately-owned Sri Lankan television station, MBC Network, was attacked and set on fire.

Describing it as an “deplorable act,”, India said the country was “shocked and saddened” of the killing of Mr. Wickramatunga.

Attacks on media, including the attack on Maharaja Television, are detrimental to media freedom in the island, a statement issued by the Indian High Commission in Colombo said.

“We urge the Government of Sri Lanka to investigate these attacks fully and bring the perpetrators of these reprehensible attacks to justice,” it said.

 
 
LOCAL LINKS
"Government is responsible" says Ranil
08 January, 2009 | Sandeshaya
Lasantha shot dead
08 January, 2009 | Sandeshaya
BBC report of the killing censored
08 January, 2009 | Sandeshaya
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