In the wake of increasing media suppression all over the world, I would like to call upon the government of Sri Lanka to take immediate steps to demonstrate its commitment to media freedom and ensure its protection in our country. Disturbingly, Sri Lanka has been ranked 141 out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index prepared by Reporters Without Borders.
It is no secret that previous regimes have overlooked serious incidents of intimidation and violence against journalists including the killing of media personnel in Sri Lanka. As such, I call upon the present government to take all steps necessary to investigate all such incidents and bring to justice perpetrators of crimes both past and present in Sri Lanka.
I would, like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the journalist community in Sri Lanka for their courage and perseverance in the face of such daunting challenges. Moreover, I would also like to urge all journalists in this country to stay committed to the pursuit of truth and the responsible transmission of it to the general public.
– Statement issued by R. Sampanthan, Leader of the Opposition & Leader of the Tamil National Alliance on World Press Freedom Day