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Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

Will impunity ever end?

A few months after being sworn in as president in January 2015, Maithripala Sirisena said he wanted to reopen all the investigations into murders of journalists. Some progress has been made in the investigation into Lasantha Wickrematunga’s murder, but almost all the others are still unpunished. The new government also said that journalists no longer had anything to fear because of their political views or their coverage of sensitive subjects such as corruption and human rights violations by the military. But attacks on journalist Freddy Gamage in June 2016 and in early 2018 fuelled the doubts of both the public and media freedom defenders. The Tamil media, often the target of attacks and censorship both during the civil war and after its official end in 2009, are still on their guard. In March 2016, the ministry of parliamentary reform and mass media ordered all news websites to register with the government or become illegal. This vague and disproportionate directive immediately reminded the media and citizen journalists of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s censorship methods.

in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index



141 in 2017

Global score


44.34 in 2017

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2019
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2019
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2019
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