22 October, 2021


GoSL Must Immediately Halt Its Intimidation Of Journalists – CPJ

Sri Lankan government calls journalists ‘traitors’

New York, March 22, 2012–The Sri Lankan government must immediately halt its intimidation of journalists who supported the adoption of a U.N. Human Rights Council resolution calling for an investigation into the country’s alleged abuses of international humanitarian law during its war with Tamil separatists.

Journalists in the capital, Colombo, told CPJ they were concerned by a state-controlled media campaign against them, which called them “traitors” for supporting the U.S.-backed motion. News accounts reported that Wednesday’s vote, which passed 24 to 15, with eight abstentions, infuriated the Sri Lankan government.

The BBC said that after the vote, state television launched an attack on Sri Lankan journalists, both at home and in exile, saying they were helping the defeated Tamil Tiger rebels and “betraying the motherland.” The broadcaster also said that although the journalists who had participated in the Council sessions were not specifically named, Sri Lankan state television “repeatedly zooms in on thinly disguised photographs of them, promising to give their names soon and ‘expose more traitors.'”

“Things are quite tense here. We’ve had anti-U.S. and anti-resolution protests the past few days, and now we’re waiting to see who they will hit out at next,” one journalist in the country told CPJ.

“The government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa has a long and alarming record of intolerance to criticism,” said Bob Dietz, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator. “The international community must be extra vigilant in ensuring that Sri Lankan journalists are not subjected to reprisals for voicing their concerns to the Human Rights Council.”

The U.N. resolution called on Sri Lanka to investigate abuses carried out by its military in 2009, at the end of the decades-long war with Tamil separatists.

Rajapaksa’s administration has verbally attacked journalists in the past in an effort to intimidate them, CPJ research shows. In a 2008 letter to Rajapaksa, CPJ voiced concern over government officials repeatedly calling journalists “traitors” in public. At least nine journalists have been murdered in the Rajapaksa era, all of them unsolved, according to CPJ data.

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Latest comments

  • 0

    126 strong men and some strong women had been to Geneva for lobbying.
    At least we would have saved this money for the flights and hotels ( mmost people stayed at Holiday Inn and had whisky party everyday )to and in Geneva. Tamara whether you need or not she is a Swiss citizen who lives in geneva without any costs. Dayan has a short flight with low cost career.
    Shit happens and next time try to respect human rights and you don´t need so many people and so much of costs for this event in Geneva

  • 0

    Who are these so called journalists who claim that they are in fear?Those jerks who performed a clown act in Geneva?Lets make one thing clear.Governor Paki,Sunanda the swindler,the two old bags Nimalka and Sunila etc are no journalists but pure hum bugs living in luxury at the expense of Tamil Tiger terrorists.$$$$$ Kakko!Srilanka is a sovereign country.Promoters of terrorism are not welcome here.That is final.These jerks who claim to be journalists and human rights activists,if they are truly sincere in what they say and practice,why live in luxury in Europe,instead they should put up camp in Tamil Nadu.A gang of damned fraudsters!$$$$$$$

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