Number of web sites have exposed a plan to kill five leading journalists covering defense related issues in Sri Lanka. MFSL sources as well as some of the journalists named in the websites, confirmed the news stories as credible.
On 12th June, Asiantribune.com, which has a pro SL government editorial line reported that “according to an alleged confession of a personal security officer, himself a Naval officer, of a very ‘high ranking’ Naval officer,” five journalists are reported to be under threat for reportage during war times. The web site named Ruwan Weerakone, correspondent for Asian Tribune and the Bottom Line newspaper, Prasanna Fonseka – formerly of Lake House and currently with Siyatha newspaper, Tissa Ravindra from Rivira newspaper, Mihiri Fonseka of Lakbima and Amal Samantha of the Rupavahini Corporation as the five journalists in death list of a very high ranking naval officer. Asian tribune.com correspondent Ruwan Weerakone has complained to Piliyandala police station on the death treat naming a highest ranking naval officer.
On 11th June Lankanews.com reported that Police have provided protection to five journalists who are in the death list of a highest ranking naval officer. The web site also named the five journalists who are under threat. These web reports say that these five journalists have been working closely with the Army commander and was critical of a very high ranking naval officer.
So far no correction has been sent either by any naval officer or any government news agency, although the highest ranking naval officer has been named by the websites as the officer behind the plot to assassinate the above mentioned journalists.
Freedom of Expression News from Sri Lanka
MFSL note No 3 15th June 2009