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Sri Lanka cabinet approves compensation for 'persecuted' journalists, week before election

Sri Lanka’s cabinet has approved the payment of compensation to 78 journalists who were subject to ‘harassment’ and ‘persecution’ between 2005 and 2015 during the presidency of Mahinda Rajapaksa. A committee will decide the compensation to be handed out.

Several Tamil journalists reported receiving a form to apply for compensation in 2017 but refused to engage with the process, saying they wanted justice for the attacks against them as well as justice for over 40 of their colleagues who were assassinated and murdered during and after the armed conflict.

“We never wanted their measly compensation,” a prominent Tamil journalist said. “We have been asking only for justice for our colleagues that were killed and abducted by the Sri Lankan state and their paramilitary goons.”

“Either way, no-one believes this government are going to pay out before they are dissolved. For five years they’ve done nothing. In fact, Tamil journalists have continued to be targeted and persecuted under this government."