Assault on freedom of expression: media forum
COLOMBO: A senior journalist associated with the Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) and the head of the Political Division of the British High Commission were here on Monday waylaid and brutally assaulted.
There has been a sharp rise in the number of attacks on journalists in recent weeks amid a raging controversy over a set of guidelines the Defence Ministry issued to the media on the norms to be followed in reporting the ongoing war.
In response to persistent demands from the media community for a fair and speedy investigation, the government last week appointed a ministerial sub-committee to look into the matter. The Committee was formed after the police failed to make any breakthrough in the assault and intimidation of over a dozen journalists.
The victims of the latest incident were deputy head of the advocacy section of SLPI Namal Perera and Mahendra Amaraweera, a Sri Lankan national working as head, political section of the British High Commission.
A van blocked the car near the Information Ministry. The occupants broke the wind shield of the car and attempted to abduct Mr. Perera.
Mr. Perera and Mr. Amaraweera were badly beaten up and are undergoing treatment. The latter has suffered head injuries and is being treated in the critical care unit.
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Published: Tue Jul 1 21:00:37 EDT 2008