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Government denies 'hit list' allegations
 
The Sri Lankan government has denied the allegations of the existence of a list of media workers and activists.

A statement issued by the Presidential Secretariat say, the reports of an existence of such a list is false.

J.C.Weliamuna
J.C. Weliamuna, head of Transparency International

International rights groups and local groups protested about the existence of a list of targeted individuals allegedly compiled by the government intelligence unit.

coordinated series of statements

"In the past few days there has been a well coordinated series of statements and web comments on alleged government plans to arrest NGO activists and to suppress and intimidate its opponents and critics," say the government.

In a statement issued on Monday, the Amnesty International expressed concern for the individuals allegedly named in the list 'leaked to the media'.

Mike Blakemore, Media Director of Amnesty International (AI) UK, said, "Such a blatant leak can have only one purpose and that is to intimidate those individuals on the list and deter anyone from speaking to them."

purpose of such a list

According to an AI statement, Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, executive director of the Sri Lankan NGO, the Centre for Policy Alternatives, and J C Weliamuna, Sri Lanka director of international NGO Transparency International, are both in danger of being targeted.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Free Media Movement (FMM) also urged the government to express the purpose of such a list.

 the list and its purpose are of significant concern
 
IFJ

Quoting media reports it says, that FMM secretary Sunil Jayasekara and convenor Chulawansa Sirilal are in the list.

trend of violence, intimidation and threats

International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) wrote to the president Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday to use his authority to investigate the existence of the list of names allegedly prepared by the government intelligence services.

"Given the trend of violence, intimidation and threats against members of Sri Lanka's press freedom and human rights communities, the list and its purpose are of significant concern." IFJ said.

Protest against attacks on media
Activists claim there is impunity for attackers

Presidential secretariat however reveals an ongoing investigation to the activities of Non Governmental Organisations.

legislation to govern the NGO/INGO

"The government is in the process of preparing comprehensive legislation to govern the NGO/INGO activities in the country, as there are many instances of malpractice, including misappropriation of huge sums donated by foreign governments and organisations," says the statement.

However, it adds, "there is absolutely no reason to fear that there is a physical threat or lack of safety to the critics of the government including journalists, civil society activists and human rights defenders".

 
 
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