in Sri Lanka mark the
anniversaries of the murder of Sunday
Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunge and disappearance of cartoonist
Prageeth Eknaligoda, the International
Federation of Journalists (IFJ) demands that the Government of Sri Lanka
expedite investigations into these cases and immediately disclose any findings.
of Media Organisations, which includes IFJ affiliates the Free Media Movement
(FMM) and the Sri Lanka Working
Journalists’ Association (SLWJA), staged a protest in Colombo on January 18 to mark two years since
the death of Wickrematunge and one year since Eknaligoda’s disappearance.
Wickrematunge was murdered on January 8, 2009 in the midst of a dramatic increase in violent
attacks on journalists and media organisations as the country’s long-running
civil war drew to an end. Eknaligoda,
a well-known cartoonist and columnist with Lanka-e-News has been missing since January
24, 2010 – only two days before Sri
bitterly contested presidential election.
journalists, trade unionists and press freedom activists gathered outside the
Fort railway station in the capital Colombo
to mark the anniversaries and demand the Government, police and judiciary
conduct “meaningful investigations” into these cases.
into both cases have made slow progress, with little or no information being
made available to the public, leading journalists and press freedom activists
to question the integrity of the investigations.
“It is hard to believe that, after
two years, no real progress has been made in the investigation into Wickrematunge’s
death, especially given the very public nature of his murder,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.
“Eknaligoda’s disappearance is
equally troubling and we hold grave fears for his wellbeing.
authorities must employ every resource at their disposal to thoroughly
investigate and resolve these cases without further delay.”
In a posthumous
editorial Wickrematunge, who was well aware that the deaths of media
workers in Sri Lanka were often
met with impunity, predicted that any investigation into his death would be
See images from the January 18
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