The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) expressed alarm following a recent wave of harassment and attacks on journalists in Sri Lanka, following the election of Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
With the intensifying attacks against local media, including harassment and interrogation by police forces, the CPJ has called on authorities to "hold those responsible to account, and ensure that journalists can report freely in the country".
In some instances, those who assaulted media personnel have been identified as belonging to pro-Rajapaksa groups, such as in the attack on Maduka Thaksala Fernando, a journalist at Resa parent company Lake House. He alleges that his attackers belonged to the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna trade union.
Aliya Iftikhar, CPJ’s Senior Asia researcher said that “the number of attacks against the media within weeks of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s inauguration is extremely alarming”.
“Rajapaksa has said the media will not be hindered under his administration, and he must prove that by ensuring that recent attacks against journalists are thoroughly investigated and those responsible are swiftly brought to justice,” Iftikhar added.
CPJ contacted the Sri Lankan Information and Communication Technology Agency for more on this. Yet, they did not receive any response
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