11 journalists killed, 50 abducted since 2005 – UNP parliamentarian
“Eleven journalists have been killed while fifty have been abducted from 2005 up to now,” Joseph Michael Perera, Gampaha district parliamentarian and United National Party (UNP) Chief Whip said in Sri Lanka parliament presenting a special report Wednesday morning, sources in Colombo said. Meanwhile, five media organizations staged a protest demonstration Wednesday around 3:00 p.m in Colombo Vihara Mahadevi Park, condemning the abduction of and assault on journalist Bothala Jeyantha.
Hundreds of media persons along with opposition parliamentarians participated in the above demonstration which concluded around 4:30 p.m with a meeting held in J. R. Jayawardene Hall close by.
Five media organizations including Sri Lanka Working Journalists’ Association (SLWJA), Ceylon Tamil Journalists Alliance (SLTJA) and Free Media Movement (FMM) had jointly organized the protest demonstration.
UNP Kurunagala district parliamentarian, Dayasiri Dayasekara, Mangala Samaraweera, convener SLFP(M), Dr. Vickrmabahu Karunaratne, leader of New Leftist Front were some of the prominent political personages who participated in the demonstration.
“State terrorism is threatening the media,” Mangala Samaraweera said in his speech.
Joseph Michael Perera extended a request in the Parliament Wednesday to appoint a special committee to investigate into the attacks on journalists.
He continued to say that eleven journalists have been killed and fifty journalists abducted since 2005 and added that the government had done nothing to protect the journalists and it had neither arrested nor produced anyone before the law in this issue.
Minister Anura Priyatharsana, however, in response said that there was no need to appoint a special committee as investigations are being made into the attacks against journalists.