IFJ Mourns the Passing Away of a Leading Sri Lankan Journalist, Ajith Samaranayake

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) mourns the passing yesterday morning of leading Sri Lankan journalist, Ajith Samaranayake, and sends its deepest condolences to his family and the media community in Sri Lanka.

Ajith was one the most well-respected political writers and analysts in Sri Lanka, who made outstanding contributions in fighting for press freedom and media rights in that country.

While holding chief editor posts in The Island and The Sunday Observer, Ajith actively participated in campaigns against restrictions on journalists' activities, and will be remembered for his strong condemnation of the censorship of Aksharaya, a film by Ashoka Handagama, earlier this year.

Jacqueline Park, director of IFJ Asia, said of his passing: "Ajith was a beacon in the Sri Lankan journalism community and will be sorely missed."

"Journalism not only in Sri Lanka, but within the region, and indeed globally, will be the poorer for this loss," she said.

Ajith was respected by many journalists for his professionalism in journalism and his passion and commitment to media rights activism.

The IFJ, the global organisation representing more than 500,000 journalists in over 115 countries, celebrates his lifetime of courage and commitment to peace-building, to improving good governance and to democracy in Sri Lanka, and honours his consistent aspiration for promotion of the freedom of press and professional journalism.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific +61 2 9333 0919

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 115 countries