IFJ Alarmed By Reported Abduction in Sri Lanka

The International Federation of

Journalists (IFJ) is alarmed and dismayed over reports that Dammika Ganganath

Dissanayake, the former chairman of the government-owned broadcaster, the Sri

Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC), may have been abducted from his home near Colombo.

 

According to reports received from

sources in Colombo, Dissanayake was taken away by a gang which remains

unidentified, late yesterday evening.

The gang reportedly arrived in a white van,

stormed the residence, bound up his

wife and domestic help, and took

Dissanayake away.

 

The family of the missing man has

filed a complaint with a local police station. The police have reportedly said

that they have no information about Dissanayake’s whereabouts.

 

Dissanayake is reportedly close to

Ranil Wickramasinghe, the leader of

the United National Party, the main

opposition grouping in Sri

Lanka’s Parliament. Recent reports in a Colombo newspaper mentioned that he intended to begin work

soon on a book dealing with political abductions in Sri Lanka.

 

“The IFJ recalls that Tamil

newspaper editor N. Vidyatharan was snatched from a private family ceremony on

February 25 in what seemed at the time to be an abduction,

but which was later confirmed by the Sri Lankan police to be an arrest on charges

of abetting terrorism,” IFJ General

Secretary Aidan White said.

 

“Dissanayake’s disappearance reminds

us once again that media freedom in Sri Lanka is gravely imperilled by

the rapid descent into lawlessness that the Government seems disinclined to

arrest and may indeed be promoting.”

 

For

further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents over 600,000 journalists in 122 countries