Sri Lanka Television Suspends Journalists for Distributing Leaflet

State-controlled Sri Lankan television station Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) has sent four of its journalists on compulsory leave after they submitted a letter stating that their professional rights had been disrespected and damaged.

According to IFJ affiliate the Free Media Movement (FMM), SLRC Producers' Union Chairman Kanchana Marasinghe, Organizer Herbert Kumara Alagiyawanna, Athula Peiris and Ravi Abewickrama also distributed leaflets to other staff related to the letter.

The SLRC has claimed that the journalists distributed the leaflets during working hours, however according to sources from the FMM the leaflets were distributed outside of the institution and before working hours began.

The IFJ supports the Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association’s (SLWJA) attempts to reach an amicable solution through negotiations with the Sri Lankan government.

IFJ affiliate the Free Media Movement (FMM) supports the SLRC Producers Union in their actions and maintains the journalists had a right to distribute the leaflets as an expression of their fundamental democratic rights.

IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqui Park said, “Forcing these journalists to go on leave is unnecessary, unjust and a clear breach of their professional rights. The IFJ calls on the SLRC to negotiate with the journalists and their Association.”

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

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