About 100 media personnel staged a protest here on Tuesday to draw attention to the killing and disappearance of journalists Sri Lanka.
In the front row of the protesters was Sandhya, wife of cartoonist and political analyst Prageeth Eknaligoda who disappeared on January 24, 2010, two days before the presidential poll. She held a placard: “3 years since the disappearance of Prageeth, government is silent.”
Alliance of Media Organisations — media right organisations in Sri Lanka — and its supporters have said it is ‘Black January’ in Sri Lanka. In the past four years, an unusually large number of attacks on the media occurred in January. The government has not been able to bring to justice those responsible for the attacks.
The Sunday Leader Editor, Lasantha Wickramatunga was murdered in January 2009. Sirasa media network’s office was attacked in January 2009.In January 2008, a television producer, Lal Hemantha Mawalage, was attacked. In July 2011, Tamil newspaper Uthayan’s senior staffer Gnanasundaram Kuhanathan was assaulted. No one has been arrested as yet.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said nine journalists had been murdered “since Rajapaksa in power” and one has gone missing. Sri Lanka is ranked fourth in CPJ’s impunity index. As many as 23 journalists have been forced into exile since 2007.