July 02, 2008 (LBO) – The Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) and the Newspaper Publishers Association are offering a reward of five million rupees for information on the assault on journalist Namal Perera.
Informants could give information that lead to the arrest of the assailants by calling 0033 147 777 414 or sending emails to email@example.com, representatives of the organisations told a news conference Wednesday.
The informants could remain anonymous and use a code to claim the reward, they said.
Freelance journalist Namal Perera, who writes about the ethnic war and also works for the SLPI, was clubbed along with UK embassy political officer Mahendra Ratnaweera and their car smashed by a group of unidentified men in broad daylight Monday.
They were hospitalised after the assault, the latest in a string of attacks on journalists, especially defence correspondents, which drew widespread condemnation.
The United States embassy said in a statement Tuesday that it condemned the attack, calling it a “brutal and unprovoked” attack and said it was concerned at the suppression of media which was essential for democracy.
Sri Lanka’s Free Media Movement, a rights body, said Perera had narrowly escaped being abducted in the same way Keith Noyahr, defence correspondent of The Nation newspaper was abducted and beaten recently.
The US embassy and media groups have said they hoped that a ministerial committee appointed to look into complaints of harassment and death threats against media personnel would probe the latest assault.