SRI LANKA: Media Face Uncertainties in the Run-up to Elections - Analysis
COLOMBO, Jan 15, 2010 (IPS) - The string of events involving the Sri Lankan press over the past week has once again brought the embattled Fourth Estate into the limelight. This comes into sharp focus as the country eagerly awaits the upcoming presidential elections.
On Jan. 8, the media community held vigils to commemorate the first death anniversary of pioneering editor Lasantha Wickremathunge, killed by still unidentified assassins in 2009.
Four days later, on Tuesday, Dayaselle Liynagee, a senior reporter at the Lankadeepa, one of the country’s widely circulated, privately owned vernacular newspapers, resigned, reportedly under pressure from some political forces over a controversial report she wrote.
Then on Jan. 13, two journalists at ‘The Sunday Leader’ reported getting mailed death threats, after which the weekly newspaper’s premises were searched by police. On this day, too, albeit on a positive note, Jayaprakash Tissainayagam, a Tamil journalist, incarcerated since March 2008, was released on bail. He had been found guilty of endangering national security and sentenced to 20 years in jail in August 2009.
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Published: Fri Jan 15 23:04:05 EST 2010