Media groups stage protest rally in Colombo
[TamilNet, Saturday, 24 November 2007, 09:29 GMT]
Hundreds of media men and women from five media groups including Free Media Movement (FMM), Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance (SLTMA), and Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association (SLWJA) held a protest rally Friday noon opposite the Fort Railway station condemning the burning of the printing press of the English-language news papers Morning Leader and Sunday Leader, and Irudina Sinhala weekly Wednesday early morning, civil society sources in Colombo said. The rally brought all vehicular traffic to stand still creating serious congestion on all major routes for more than an hour.
The protestors shouted slogans pointing out that Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) did not conduct proper investigations into the killing of a number of media men including Nimalarajan, Sivaram and threats issued against various media groups.
The protesters accused armed forces and blamed GoSL for their the threats agains media personnel and the prevailing claiming of fear in the media community.
They asked how someone could set fire to the press located in a High Security Zone (HSZ) without the tacit cooperation of the security forces.
A spokes men for the organizers said the government has failed to uphold and maintain rule of law, and have violated democratic and human rights of the people. He urged the civil society and the political community to safeguard the free press in Sri Lanka.