Sri Lanka - Reporters Without Borders backs London demonstration in protest at murder of leading editor



    MONTREAL, Jan. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - Reporters Without Borders today voiced
its public support for a demonstration to be held in London on 15 January in
protest at the killing of a prominent Sri Lankan editor.
    The demonstration will be the occasion for "a new strong condemnation of
the murder" of Lasantha Wickrematunga of the Sunday Leader, the worldwide
press freedom organisation said.
    "We urge the government to react quickly to end the climate of impunity
in Sri Lanka and we urge Londoners to join the rally in memory of the murdered
journalist, to condemn repression and the critical situation for journalists
in Sri Lanka", the organisation said.
    The demonstration, organised by the editor's colleagues and backed by
Reporters Without Borders and other organisations, will take place from 2 to
5pm outside the residence of the prime minister of the United Kingdom at 10
Downing Street.
    The objective is to denounce the killing of Lasantha Wickrematunga, a
crackdown on the media and the desperate plight of many of the country's
journalists.
    At least 4,000 people demonstrated in the streets of the capital Colombo
calling for justice during the funeral on 12 January of the outspoken editor
of the Sunday Leader who was highly critical of the government.
    Demonstrators wore black arms bands and chanted anti-government slogans.
It was the biggest demonstration against the government of Mahinda Rajapaksa
since he took power more than three years ago. The government has denied any
implication in the murder of the editor and has promised to carry out a
thorough investigation.
    In his final editorial, published posthumously on 11 January, the
journalist said he knew that he was being targeted by the government. "When
finally I am killed, it will be the government that kills me", he wrote.




For further information:

For further information: Katherine Borlongan, Executive Director,
Reporters Without Borders Canada, (514) 521-4111, rsfcanada@rsf.org

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