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Sri Lanka media press for probe into killings

[AFP, Thursday, 26 January 2012 08:31 No Comment]

A Sri Lankan media rights activist holds a poster of journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge (AFP, Ishara S.Kodikara) Dozens of media rights activists took to the streets in Colombo on Wednesday demanding action against those responsible for killing journalists and attacking news organisations.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joined Sri Lankan media organisations at the demonstration in Colombo’s Lipton Square.

Organisers said the rally was in response to a spate of attacks on the media and the failure of the government to bring those responsible to justice.

"The killers are out there," said a placard carried by one journalist, in reference to the unsolved killing of anti-establishment editor Lasantha Wickramatunga in January 2009.

"The government is silent," read another placard showing a picture of freelance journalist and cartoonist Prageeth Ekneligoda who disappeared on the eve of the 2010 presidential polls.

Some 17 journalists and media employees have been killed in Sri Lanka in the past decade, pro-opposition websites have been blocked and media organisations opposing government views have been attacked, organisers said.

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