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CaFFE and CHR condemns the attack on LankaEnews website in Sri Lanka

CaFFE and CHR condemns the attack on LankaEnews website in Sri Lanka

2011 Jan 31

Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) and Centre for Human Rights (CHR) strongly condemns the attack on Lankaenews office in Malambe, Sri Lanka in the morning which destroyed property worth up to fifteen million rupees. This latest attack on media, right after the end of the Galle Literary Festival (GLF,) when the attention of the whole world is focused on Sri Lanka is not only a serious blow for media freedom and right to information but also damns our international reputation.

We believe that Lankaenews played an important role in disseminating news items which were not used by main stream media for various reasons and they were unflinching in their belief of the right to information to the people.

However due to the same reasons they have been facing intense pressure from various sections from 2006. While cartoonist and political commentator Prageeth Ekneligoda was abducted and is missing for over one year, their chief editor and his family members live abroad fearing for their lives. Due to frequent threats and pressure Lankaenews had to shift their office from Rajagiriya to Malambe last year and Lankaenews journalists faced grave challenges in continuing their work.

We assume that the main reason behind these attacks were the revelations and investigations carried out by Lankaenews. From looking at the damage done it is obvious that this was a well planned attack carried out to inflict maximum damage. 

The challenge before us now is to assure the safety of journalists who are working to disseminate information to the people. CaFFE and CHR also hope that Lankaenews will recover from this latest attempt to silence them as they have done after such previous attempts and urge the citizens who believe in democratic values to come forward and protect media institutions like Lankaenews.
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