The New York Times newspaper today said it has encouraged former president Mahinda Rajapaksa to contact senior editors at New York Times if he takes issue with Times reporting.
“If Mr. Rajapaksa takes issue with Times reporting, we have encouraged him to contact senior editors at The New York Times rather than intimidating Sri Lankan journalists,” Times International Editor Michael Slackman said in a statement.
He said a group of Sri Lankan parliamentarians allied with former president Rajapaksa, held a news conference to publicly criticize two journalists who contributed logistical assistance to a rigorously reported and accurate New York Times investigation into the Hambantota port, published on June 26.
“It is unacceptable for journalists to be intimidated in this way. This action appears intended to silence critics and curb press freedoms, and ultimately deprive Sri Lankans of information in the public interest.
The Times expects the Sri Lankan authorities to ensure the safety of journalists working for our or any other news organization,” Mr. Slackman said.