International media rights groups want probe on attack on editor

Freddy-GamageSri Lankan authorities should ensure a thorough investigation into an attack on the editor of the Sinhala-language Meepura newspaper Thursday and hold the perpetrators responsible, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Freddy Gamage was walking to his vehicle after covering a local government council meeting in the town of Negombo, when two men wearing helmets with full face masks assaulted the editor, according to Meepura and a Government statement condemning the attack.

The men hit Gamage with a large wooden pole and pursued him back to the municipal building where the council meeting had taken place, the statement said. Gamage was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for his head injury.

The motive for the attack was not immediately clear. Gamage, who is known for his reporting on crime and corruption, had decried alleged official corruption in a June 1 article for Meepura.

“The Government’s vows not to let Sri Lanka return to the bad old days of rampant attacks on journalists must be followed by swift and effective justice,” said Bob Dietz, Asia Program coordinator at CPJ. “We call on the Government to find those responsible for planning and executing the attack on Freddy Gamage and to punish them with the full force of the law.”

Sri Lanka last year ranked sixth on CPJ’s global Impunity Index, which spotlights countries where journalists are murdered and their killers go unpunished. Many of the killings came during the era of the preceding Rajapaksa Government, but abated once the President was voted out of office. (Colombo Gazette)

1 COMMENT

  1. Every week the so- called ‘new’ government does yet another thing that makes them look pretty much the same as the old one. The abuse of state power continues – the President and other members are back to using the state helicopter like its a taxi, the arrogance of the occupation of our limited road space that is the vehicle convoy has returned; the hiring of corrupt politicians like Anusha Palpitya continues; the CB governer who is not even a SL citizen is allowed to continue in his position despite a corruption scandal whose scale would put those of the Rajapaksa’s to shame; Maithripala will put the SL taxpayer further into debt by getting the Chinese to ‘invest’ in white elephants in Polonnaruwa just like Rajapaksa did in Hambantota; his corrupt brother is busy consolidating his own power in Sri Lanka Telecom, an exercise in gross nepotism; the only redress for corruption seems to be ‘grilling’ suspects; or charging them and then sending them out on bail; the ultra corrupt Basil Rajapakse’s family is allowed to slip back to the US so they get no grilling at all; and more. The only saving grace of this govt was that the persecution of dissent had, it seemed, stopped. But even that now seems not to be. The more things change, the more they stay the same …..

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