30th July 208
Two Indian journalists who are here to cover the India – Sri Lanka test cricket series were detained briefly today in Galle on security grounds. FMM is relieved that both of them were released without much delay.
Indian Techvision television cameraman Ali Ekram of RP TV was detained by police while doing a story on the Galle cricket stadium’s backdrop the Old Dutch Fort. He was released after other journalists covering the test match intervened.
Another TV journalist Mustaque Ali working of Z news was detained by group of fisherman while he was filming the beach close to the Galle fort. He was able to contact fellow journalists to explain that the there to cover the cricket match but until the Navy arrived he was not allowed to go back to his hotel. He was asked by the Navy to delete the footage of beach close to the harbour.
Both these incidents show the difficulties and hostile environments face by journalists working in Sri Lanka especially photo and Television journalists. In the past too number of foreign photo journalists were detained on security reasons only because they were covering normal day to day arrangements.
FMM hope that Galle cricket authorities will take necessary steps to ensure journalists safety in the light of two incidents happened today.