IFJ Condemns Ongoing Attacks Against Sri Lankan Newspaper and Staff

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the global organisation representing more than 500,000 journalists in over 110 countries, has condemned a series of violent attacks against a Sri Lankan newspaper and its staff that has already killed one person.

In the latest act of violence, two Sudaroli parliamentary journalists, V Puththirasigamani and Arumugam Varatharajah, were assaulted on their way home after work on August 30. Fortunately, both journalists received minor injuries in the attack.

"Factional fighting in Sri Lanka cannot be allowed to continue to spill over to targeting journalists and the media," said IFJ President Christopher Warren.

"Campaigns of violence against the independent press are unacceptable. The diversity and independence of the media should be respected by all parties in Sri Lanka and greater efforts must be made in negotiating a peaceful resolution," said the IFJ President.

"Journalists have the right to report freely and independently without fearing for their lives. The government must investigate these attacks and bring the perpetrators to justice, " said Warren.

Meanwhile, on August 29, two grenades were hurled at Sudaroli printing press in Colombo, killing security guard D Selverajah. Journalist, Iliya Abdulla, proof-reader, Kamalanathan, and a visitor were also injured in the attack.

On August 23, Sudaroli photojournalist Yadarshan Selvarajah was covering a political rally in Colombo when he was assaulted and handed over to police.

This incident occurred just two days after a grenade was thrown at Sudaroli newspaper advertising office in Wellawatta, Colombo. Before the grenade attack Sudaroli editor, Mr Vidyadaran, said he had received threatening telephone calls.

The IFJ condemns any attacks that impinge on the safety of journalists and violate the rights of the free press.

For more information please contact Christopher Warren +61 (0) 411 757 668

The IFJ represents more than 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries