Sonali Samarasinghe

7 results arranged by date

Reports

The Road to Justice

3. Where Impunity Thrives

A climate of impunity reached a tragic culmination on November 23, 2009, when gunmen ambushed a caravan escorting political candidate Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu as he prepared to file papers to become a candidate for provincial governor in the Philippines. The attackers slaughtered 58 people, among them 30 journalists and two media workers, the largest toll of journalists murdered in a single act since CPJ began keeping track in 1992.

Blog   |   Sri Lanka

Lasantha--journalist, activist, citizen--deserves justice

A drawing of slain editor Lasantha Wickramatunga stands in the lobby of The Sunday Leader. (CPJ)

On January 13, President Mahinda Rajapaksa told Sri Lankan media his government had no evidence to continue an investigation into the murder of Sri Lankan editor Lasantha Wickramatunga. Rajapaksa made this comment in response to a question raised by Lasantha's brother Lal in the presence of about 60 media personnel, including editors, publishers and government ministers, at a customary monthly presidential breakfast. 

Rajapaksa's nonchalance over an investigation he himself publicly promised to initiate in the wake of the murder and amid allegations his government was involved, came just five days after Wickramatunga's family and colleagues commemorated the prominent journalist's second anniversary of his death.

January 19, 2011 3:56 PM ET

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Blog   |   Sri Lanka

One year later in Sri Lanka, little has changed

Lasantha Wickramatunga

Even by Sri Lanka’s standards, January 2009 was a brutal month for journalists.

On January 6, on a quiet road on the outskirts of Colombo, the country’s main independently owned TV station, Sirasa TV, was raided at 2:05 a.m. by 15 to 20 masked armed men working with military precision. At 2:35:31 they detonated an explosion, possibly a claymore mine, a military-style antipersonnel mine set off by an electrical charge through wires leading to the device.

Blog   |   Sri Lanka

World leaders note Sri Lankan press abuses

Sri Lanka got special mention in the statements of world leaders marking World Press Freedom Day, May 3. It's not surprising. The government in Colombo has coupled an all-out effort to end its war with the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam with an assault on critics in the Sri Lankan media. U.S. President Barack Obama's statement mentioned the egregious case of J.S. Tissainayagam, on trial in Colombo and accused of terrorism because of his writing. 

Blog   |   Sri Lanka

CPJ testimony: Access denied in Sri Lankan conflict

On Tuesday, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission convened a hearing on Sri Lanka. The impetus was the disintegrating human rights situation in the northeastern "no fire zone." CPJ was invited to testify about attacks on Sri Lankan journalists and the fact that both sides to the Tamil secessionist war--the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the government--do not allow journalists access to the conflict zone.

Blog   |   Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka on State Department's radar

The dire situation for journalists in Sri Lanka who have fallen out of favor with the government has not gone unnoticed at the U.S. State Department. On March 23, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent a letter to Senator Robert Casey, who chaired the Senate Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing on Sri Lanka on February 24. Seven senators had written to her about their concerns in Sri Lanka after the meeting.

Reports   |   Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Special Report: Failure to Investigate

As the Sri Lankan government steps up its war with the LTTE, assaults on journalists are on the rise. So are suspicions that the government is complicit in these attacks.

7 results