Sri Lanka: SLWJA strongly condemns with disgust the brutal attack on unarmed protestors and journalists by sri lanka armed forces and police22 Jul, 2022
Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association (SLWJA) strongly condemns with disgust the inhumane attack on unarmed protesters and journalists who were going to the Galle Face struggle ground to report the attack and were reporting for local and international media from inside the struggle ground. This has happened within 48 hours of the inauguration of the 8th President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickramasingha.
Our Association is of the opinion that there should be room for free media reporting under any circumstances. It is observed that there was no such situation in the Galle Face struggle area since this morning. Even when journalists reporting for local and foreign media were confirming their identity, they were attacked and abducted by the security forces. This shows that the Ranil Wickramasingha regime is also blatantly crushing the freedom of the media.
Citizens should have the right to know information in a democratic country. That right will only be more secure as long as there is an environment in which journalists can freely report. The destruction of that environment less than 48 hours after Ranil Wickramasingha became the President reminds the journalists of Sri Lanka of the repression of the media during the Rajapakse regime such as assassinations, abductions, tortures and the burning of media institutions. Due to attacks by the security forces and the Police, the two journalists namely Kasun Kumarage (Web – SLPI) and Chathuranga Pradeep Kumara (Web – Xposure) have already been admitted to the National Hospital. In addition, Rasika Gunawardena and Sabeer Mohamed (Web – Xposure) have been attacked and Jareem Samuel (BBC) has been threatened by security forces.
SLWJA strongly insist that we will do all the possible intervention nationally and internationally against this suppression of the media by the government and not to touch the right of the people to know.
Duminda Sampath Frank De Zoysa