The New York-based media watchdog Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), in its 2013 Impunity Index, has ranked Sri Lanka as the 4th worst country out of 12 countries for journalists.
CPJ’s Impunity Index, published annually, identifies countries where journalists are murdered regularly and governments fail to solve the crimes.
“Getting Away With Murder: CPJ’s 2013 Impunity Index” examines murders of journalists that occurred from January 1, 2003, through December 31, 2012, and remain unsolved. Only nations with five or more unsolved cases are listed in the index.
The global impunity rating index calculates unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each country’s population.
Sri Lanka’s impunity rating of 0.431 unsolved journalist murders per million inhabitants was unchanged from 2012.
In its report CPJ says that four years after the end of the nation’s long civil war, President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s administration has shown no interest in pursuing the perpetrators in nine journalist murders over the past decade.
According to the CPJ, all of the victims had reported on politically sensitive issues in ways that were critical of the Rajapaksa government. The cases include the killing of Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunga.
In order, Iraq, Somalia and the Philippines ranked above Sri Lanka while Colombia, Afghanistan, Mexico, Pakistan, Russia, Brazil, Nigeria and lastly India were listed below.
CPJ’s analysis found improving conditions in Nepal, which dropped off the index entirely, and in Russia although both nations remain dangerous for the press. It also found intensifying anti-press violence in Somalia, Pakistan, and Brazil.