The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has joined the ‘Black
January’ campaign against attacks on journalists in Sri Lanka, organized by theAlliance of
The month of January
2012, has been nominated as ‘Black January’ in Sri Lanka, by the Alliance of Media
Organizations and its supporters in the national and international communities.
The campaign is a
response to the attacks on the media that have occurred in the month of January
in the past three years, and the failure of the government of Sri Lanka to
bring to account those responsible for attacks on numerous journalists.
These attacks include the murder of Sunday Leader editor, Lasantha
Wickrematunga in 2009, the disappearance of political columnist Prageeth
Ekneligoda in 2010, the attack on Sirasa media network in 2009 and the
brutal attack on television producer Lal
Hemantha Mawalage in 2008.
In recent years, the month of January has also
witnessed the murder of Tamil parliamentarian T Maheshwaran, the abduction of
Akuna journalists Sisira Priyankara, Nihal Serasinghe and Lalith Seneviratne
and the former army commander Sarath Fonseka’s characterisation of certain
journalist as “traitors”.
On January 25,
journalists and media workers all over the world will unite in observance of
‘Black January’, culminating in a series
of public protests in Sri Lanka’s
The IFJ, in solidarity
with the Free Media Movement and the South Asia Media Solidarity Network
(SAMSN) join our colleagues in Sri
Lanka, in urging the Government of Sri Lanka
to conduct proper investigations into these serious attacks on the media.
The IFJ reminds the
Government of Sri Lanka of its deeply disturbing record of default in bringing
to account individuals, state agencies and non-state actors who increasingly
make journalism and the dissemination of information for the wider public good,
a deeply hazardous pursuit.
“The violence against journalists in Sri Lanka and the continuing disregard by the
government of Sri Lanka
in addressing these crimes is unacceptable”, IFJ Asia-Pacific
Director Jacqueline Park said.
“The IFJ urges concrete
action by authorities in Sri Lanka to take heed of today’s ‘Black January’
protests and address acts of violence against journalists and media workers”
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0950
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