[Press statement] 08th December 2014
Free Media Movement condemns the attack by a government politician to ‘Vidiye Wirodhaya’ event held in Eppawala on December 5th with number of civil society organizations under the title of ‘Viyaruwata Erehiwa, Jeewithaya Wenuwen’ (Against Rage, For Life). FMM also demands the government to prevent attacks, threats and intimidation by government political mobs to suppress peaceful voices of citizens during this election period.
‘Viyaruwata Erehiwa, Jeewithaya Wenuwen’ campaign aims to build a common voice that demands democratic reforms against anti democratic activities of the current government.
This attack is a violation of freedom of expression of Sri Lankan citizens and a barrier for free and fair election.
A mob led by Thalawa Member of Pradeshiya Sabha Mr. Wasantha Bandara and the coordinating secretary to the chairman of Central Provincial Council Mr. Uditha Fernando has attacked the protestors on 5th December.
‘Ada’ newspaper and Hiru TV journalist Mr. Thisara Saman has been attacked by the mob and his camera equipment has been damaged. The mob has assaulted Mr. Jayathilaka Bandara who is a prominent peace vocalist and number of people including Mr. Jayathilaka was injured by the attack.
Mr. Thisara Saman was reported to have received threats stating “We were going to get you yesterday, We will kill your parents in front of your eyes, Breath carefully” On December 06th around 10 am.
According to ‘Rajarata Journalists’ organization after 36 hours no one has been arrested.
It is clear that various groups of government supports constantly attack journalist and civil society activists who are critical of the government. We demand the government and specially police to enforce law against these government politicians who are trying to unlawfully obstruct public movements and to ensure freedom of association and freedom expression of people.
FMM further calls for damages for the camera equipment of Mr. Thisara Saman from the government.
We also request the government and the election department to create an atmosphere for a free and fair election that demonstrates a truthful public opinion.
We request all people who value law and peace to join hand against these attacks.
Sunil Jayasekara Sampath samarakoon
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Filed under: Press Release