Facebook icon
Twitter icon
e-mail icon

British HC discusses press freedom with Sri Lankan minister who called Tamil journalists security threat

As attacks and harrassment of journalists in Sri Lanka ramps up, the British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka met with Sri Lankan government officials, including Minister of Mass Media and former Sri Lankan government spokesman, Keheliya Rambukwella, to discuss media freedom in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Hulton tweeted,

“Glad to meet Hon. @Keheliya_R, Minister for Mass Media recently, with Mr. Wijeweera, Media Secretary and Mr. @NalakaKaluwewa, DG Government Info. Good discussion on #mediafreedom, tackling disinformation and stigma; all particularly relevant during #COVID19.”

Rambukwella is notorious for his blatant Sinhala Buddhist chauvinism. During last year’s presidential election period, he told media that Sri Lanka is “a Sinhala Buddhist country, and I don't think one should be ashamed to say that… accept it.”

In 2014 during his previous stint as minister for media, Rambukwella said: “The government is carefully monitoring Tamil media and journalists. We feel that they are a threat to the national defence, in which case we warn them."

Meanwhile, the threat to press freedom on the island has become ever more apparent since the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this month, two Tamil Guardian correspondents who went to collect information regarding illegal logging in the ​​Murippu forest reserve in Mullaitivu, were brutally beaten by members of an organised criminal group.

See tweet here

We need your support

Sri Lanka is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. Tamil journalists are particularly at threat, with at least 41 media workers known to have been killed by the Sri Lankan state or its paramilitaries during and after the armed conflict.

Despite the risks, our team on the ground remain committed to providing detailed and accurate reporting of developments in the Tamil homeland, across the island and around the world, as well as providing expert analysis and insight from the Tamil point of view

We need your support in keeping our journalism going. Support our work today.

For more ways to donate visit https://donate.tamilguardian.com.