New predators of
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.