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News


  New predators of press freedom:                                                                                                      

Government, LTTE make the list

LTTE Supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran and government’s top defence official have been identified as the new predators of press freedom by an international media watchdog based in Paris.

The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF), in a new list exposing the new predators of press freedom numbering to a total of 39 around the world, have compared Gotabhaya and Prabhakaran to armed Islamist groups, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Somalia rulers, and both Israel defence forces and the armed wing of Hamas as those who hound the media.

“In Sri Lanka, the President’s brother, Secretary of State for Defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, often voices virulent attacks on the press, contributing to the appalling climate that prevails there. In the north of the country, Velupillai Prabhakaran, the long-time leader of the Tamil Tiger rebels, continues to intimidate journalists who criticise his movement,” the media watchdog said yesterday.

RSF pointed out that for the past seven years, they have exposed the world’s “predators of press freedom” – men and women who directly attack journalists or order others to. Most are top-level politicians (including presidents, prime ministers and kings) but they also include militia chiefs, leaders of armed groups and drug-traffickers.

“They usually answer to no one for their serious attacks on freedom of expression. Failure to punish them is one of the greatest threats to the media today,” the media watchdog noted.

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