A journalist ( Indika Handuwala of Morning newspaper) was assaulted as he attempted to take a photograph at the Fort Magistrate court premises by the security personals of Chief of Defense Staff RavindraWijegunaratne who was appearing in the courts to make a statement regarding the abduction of the 11 youth. We at Free Media Movement strongly condemn this action and behavior against the Journalists.
During his term of Office in 2016, December the current Chief of the Defense who is also a commanding officer in the Sri Lankan Navy; was further convicted as he led an attack and threatened a journalist who was covering a Citizens protest at the Hambantota Port. The case was thus settled over a judiciary decision on requesting the convicted to apologize of his act.
In a democratic society it is vital to hold professional journalistic reporting which is a right without constraints to a journalist. The authorities should refrain from violating such democratic rights and enabling an environment for such criminal acts.
Free Media Movement urges all relevant authorities to conduct a special investigation and expedite a fair trial to protect the dignity and enhance the safety of professional journalists.
November 28, 2018
A photographer of The Sunday @TheMorningLK / Aruna newspapers assaulted by CDS Ravi Wijegunaratne's security outside the Fort Magistrate's Court this afternoon.
— Mandana Abeywickrema (@Mandana_IA) November 28, 2018
TERRORIZING MEDIA BEGINS AGAIN !!! #Derana & #Sunday Morning media personnel assaulted near the Fort Magistrate Court by body guards of the Chief of Defense Staff. @USEmbSL @UN_HRC @UNSriLanka @UKinSriLanka @EU_in_Sri_Lanka @IndiainSL @CanHCSriLanka @SLinAustralia @GermanyinSL
— Mangala Samaraweera (@MangalaLK) November 28, 2018