May 2, 2013
The US based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has listed Sri Lanka in its 2013 Impunity Index, which spotlights countries where journalists are slain and the killers go free.
Apart from Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India are on the index of 12 nations.
CPJ’s analysis found that journalist murders have slowed in Iraq, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Colombia, and Afghanistan—five Impunity Index countries with long records of deadly, anti-press violence.
However it said that Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and Mexico have failed completely in the prosecution of numerous past slayings.
On Sri Lanka, CPJ says Sri Lanka’s impunity rating was unchanged from 2012. But four years after the end of the nation’s long civil war, CPJ says President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s administration has shown no interest in pursuing the perpetrators in nine journalist murders over the past decade.
CPJ says all of the victims had reported on politically sensitive issues in ways that were critical of the Rajapaksa government. The cases include the fatal 2009 beating of prominent newspaper editor Lasantha Wickramatunga.
“If there are really independent investigations, many murders and attacks may be traced back to highest-level government politicians and military officials,” CPJ quoted Ruki Fernando, a human rights defender with the Law and Society Trust as saying. (Colombo Gazette)