Media institutions hold protest demonstration in Colombo
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 02 July 2008, 14:41 GMT]
Five media organizations and prominent political leaders staged a protest demonstration Wednesday around 12:30 p.m. at Colpetty Junction, condemning the attacks let loose on journalists and media men. The demonstrators called on the Sri Lankan government to immediately appoint a ministerial sub-committee to conduct inquiries into the Monday attack on Media Director of the Sri Lankan Press Institute (SLPI) Namal Perera and the British Embassy officer Mahendra Ratnaweera.
Free Media Movement, Working Journalists’ Association, Tamil Journalists’ Association, Muslim Media Forum and Federation of Media Employees Trade Unions were the five media organizations that took part in the demonstration.
The protestors held placards of Namal Perera's photograph.
Leader of the opposition, Ranil Wickremasinghe, the head of United National Party (UNP) and its leaders Laxman Kiriyella, Ravi Karunanayake, Thayasiri Jayasekara, Rosy Senanayake, Ranjan Ramanayake took part in the protest.
Mano Ganesan, Western Peoples’ Front leader, Rahuf Hakeem, the leader of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and Upalangani Malagamuwa also participated in the demonstration.
Many political leaders including Ranil Wickramasinghe addressed the protestors.
Sunantha Deshapiriya, of Free Media Movement, said that all thugs who attacked the journalists should be arrested immediately and if it is not feasible the gvernment should bear full responsibility for the attack.
Strong action should be taken against all forms of media oppression was the main theme the speakers insisted on.
The United States Embassy in Colombo on Tuesday condemned the attack on a staff member of British High Commission and a director of the Sri Lankan Press Institute (SLPI) on Monday in the heart of Colombo.
The attack on Namal Perera and the Mahendra Ratnaweera was carried out at Narahenpitya in Colombo near the Sri Lankan Department of Information by a group of attackers, who came in a white van Monday evening.
The attack came a few days after a government paper alleged that the SLPI had sent members connected to LTTE to a course in Denmark under Journalist label.
01.07.08 US condemns attack on British Embassy officer, SLPI Director