The latest index shows Sri Lanka has improved from being ranked at 165 in 2015 to 141 this year out of 180 countries.
Reporters Without Borders said that by electing Maithripala Sirisena as President last year, Sri Lanka freed itself of the reign of terror imposed by the Mahinda Rajapaksa family and its allies.
The new Government said journalists and cyber-dissidents would no longer have to fear reprisals for their political views or for articles on such sensitive subjects as corruption and the military.
Reporters Without Borders also said that the Tamil media – long a target of the authorities, including after the official end of the civil war in 2009 – have seen a decline in harassment and hope it will last.
Seen as a benchmark throughout the world, the World Press Freedom Index ranks 180 countries according to the freedom allowed journalists.
It also includes indicators of the level of media freedom violations in each region. The latest index shows that Europe (with 19.8 points) still has the freest media, followed distantly by Africa (36.9), which for the first time overtook the Americas (37.1), a region where violence against journalists is on the rise. Asia (43.8) and Eastern Europe/Central Asia (48.4) follow, while North Africa/Middle East (50.8) is still the region where journalists are most subjected to constraints of every kind. (Colombo Gazette)