The attack on Chamuditha’s house should not end up being just another statistic on the list – Free Media Movement
The Free Media Movement points out that journalist Chamuditha Samarawickrema received death threats on a previous occasion as well and emphasizes that it is the responsibility of the authorities to ensure the safety of journalists.
Journalist Chamuditha Samarawickrema has stated that he had heard the sound of several gunshots. The assailants had threatened the security guard pointing a pistol to his head at the residential complex where Chamuditha’s house is located. It is reported that four armed assailants who arrived in a white van carried out the attack. The incident had occurred in a densely populated area and the Free Media Movement believes that it is normal for surveillance cameras to be installed in such areas and therefore, the Sri Lankan police can expedite the investigation and arrest the perpetrators and enforce the law.
Meanwhile, the media community, including the FMM, while commemorating Black January called on the state to provide justice for journalists who have been murdered or otherwise victimised over the decades. The Free Media Movement sadly notes that there has been impunity for those responsible for almost all the incidents while many are being acquitted due to legal weaknesses and political influence, in all probability Chamuditha’s case would end up being just another statistic on the list.
Such a deplorable attack by armed thugs less than a week after the commemoration of Black January seeking justice to journalists who have been murdered and victims of various forms of injustice, including attacks, only goes to show that the ‘dark shadows of invisible power against the media’ still prevails. Instead of adding this incident to a long list of unresolved cases due to the weaknesses of the law enforcement agencies, the Free Media Movement calls on all responsible stakeholders to take swift action and to put an end to ‘impunity saddled with political power’ and conduct a comprehensive investigation into the incident and reveal the identity of the perpetrators to the public.
14.02.2022 / Media Release