ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Vol. 41 - No 22

Newspaper Society condemns restrictions

The Newspaper Society while condemning the recent restrictions on Tamil newspapers in the East by armed groups, expressed disapproval on the seizure of 20,000 copies of the Virakesari and their subsequent burning.

The Society, stressed that burning of newspapers was a ‘stark reminder of how easily one jackboot could replace another’. It stated that the right to information and the availability of diverse opinions were a fundamental tenet of democracy and an inherent right of all those who lived in a free society.

“Any Government wedded to democracy which allows such acts to be committed with impunity, imperils its own image,” the letter stated.

It added that the statement issued by the Presidential Secretariat earlier this week, reiterated, inter alia, that the President and the Government were committed to ensuring the freedom and safety of the media in Sri Lanka.

“The Virakesari group is a member of the Newspaper Society. The escalating violence against the media, we feel, now merits the personal concern of the President.”

A government statement said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had ordered an immediate investigation into the incident.

“These attacks on the media have been perpetrated by terrorist groups and interested parties outside the democratic mainstream,” the statement said.

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Copyright 2006 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.