Journalists who fled can return

The Media Ministry says journalists who fled the country claiming their lives were at risk, can return to the country as there is no such threat.

Media Ministry Secretary Charitha Herath said that even journalists who spoke against the government at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva can still return to Sri Lanka.

Herath says the government had not forced any journalist to flee or nor did it threaten anyone.

“We have not blacklisted any journalist,” Herath said.

He also says he has not been personally informed of any threats faced by any media institution in Sri Lanka.

The Media Ministry Secretary said that over the past few months 2 more journalists had fled Sri Lanka claiming they were under threat.

When contacted, Free Media Movement Convener Sunil Jayasekera said that the Media Ministry is not in a position to assure the safety of the journalists.

Jayasekera noted that journalists in the likes of Sunanda Deshapriya, Prassana Fonseka, Upali Tennakoon, Sanath Balasuriya and Poddala Jayantha had fled Sri Lanka fearing for their safety.

He said that if the assurance is not just limited to words then most journalists who fled Sri Lanka might return home.

Report by By Indika Sri Aravinda