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Sri Lanka website editor Bennett Rupasinghe is arrested

[BBC, Thursday, 31 March 2011 15:47 No Comment]

_51941261_pics Police in Sri Lanka have arrested the editor of a news website critical of the government.

Correspondents say that the move is intended to intimidate independent journalists.

Police say that Bennett Rupasinghe, editor of LankaeNews.com, was arrested for allegedly threatening another man.

But press freedom campaigners say that the arrest was made on questionable grounds and is an attempt to silence dissenting voices.

LankaeNews has been subjected to a number of threats and attacks in recent years.

A columnist for the website is still missing more than a year since he disappeared and its office was set on fire in January.

Mr Rupasinghe said at the time he suspected "a government hand" in the arson attack.

He told the BBC that LankaeNews had written many stories critical of what he said was corruption, wastage and cheating "especially on the part of the government".

He said that he had received a lot of threats even before the arson attack.

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