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Exiled journalists asked to return

11 March 2010 01:16 am - 36     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Sri Lanka's Attorney General Mohan Peiris has said he was prepared to offer protection to any of the nation’s journalists who return to the country from exile, the US based media rights group, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said

"Speaking for myself, and I’m fairly sure the government will back me up on this, there is no question that the government needs our journalists,” Peiris has told a CPJ delegation. “They must come back and work with us and help set up the structures so that we can work together and we can respect each other. We must work with these institutions because we need them. We know if they stay outside and attack the government that is not useful.”

When asked if the government would ensure their safety, Peries said, “Of course, if they come back, there must be assurance on our part that they won’t come to any harm.”

Pereis made the statements to CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney and Asia Program Coordinator Bob Dietz. The meeting came near the end of a series of discussions CPJ had with Sri Lankan journalists in Colombo and Jaffna to assess the situation for reporters following presidential elections in January and before April’s parliamentary voting. 

“The attorney general’s appeal to journalists to return from exile is just a first step,” said Mahoney. “The government must go further by taking concrete action to address the climate of impunity and intimidation that prompted them to flee in the first place.”

Sri Lanka ranks fourth, behind Iraq, Somalia, and Sierra Leone, on CPJ’s Global Impunity Index, a ranking of countries where journalists are murdered regularly and the killers go free. The country ranks 13th on CPJ’s database of journalists killed.  A 2009 CPJ report, “Failure to Investigate,” reported on the history of attacks on journalists and the government’s failure to bring any prosecutions or convictions in any of the cases.  (Daily Mirror online)

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  Comments - 36

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  • Thursday, 11 March 2010 07:54 PM

    'Charity begins at home.'

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 11:18 AM

    Government now in a big trouble b cos No IMF,GSP+ now goverment using they puppets like AG to use the saxapone to entertain the West

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 09:09 PM

    How can you guarantee their safety when Mr. Lasantha Wickremaratunge was gunned-down in broad daylight?

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 10:12 PM

    Where is Prageeth Ekneligoda? - Answer his wife first.

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 05:12 AM

    Protect the journalist at home first !

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 05:17 AM

    Ensure the protection of those who are already in the country before inviting others.
    This is a fool's Paradise

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 11:12 PM

    Will the exiled journalists trust this opportunistic government, without law and order? This is a big JOKE.

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 05:32 AM

    What a laugh. Can he assure protection for the journalists already in the country? Produce Ekanaligoda firsrt.

    Friday, 12 March 2010 12:25 AM

    Journalists, at home, are presently being 'protected' by thugs and 'white van' operators.

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 12:48 PM

    Jokers’ paradise!

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 06:51 AM

    This is a trap. Don't believe.

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 07:02 AM

    To get killed

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 07:09 AM

    You cannot hoodwink the Journalists anymore. This is the latest joke. Subha Anagathayak.

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 07:15 AM

    What a heap of cow patt !! Most don't even know the meaning of ' protection' . The country is in shambles. Open your eyes.

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 07:19 AM

    Yes, there are a number of new detention camps to where they will be kept very safe!!!

    Saturday, 13 March 2010 04:14 AM

    Come and sign your Death Warrant

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 07:26 AM

    Coming back is equal to committing suicide.

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 08:15 AM

    We live in a country where even the Spreme Court's Rulings are not respected. How can they take your word seriously Mr. Attorney General...?

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 08:30 AM

    don't trust anyone, please remain in exile.

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 08:37 AM

    Gota told in a recent interview ...media freedom and human rights are foreign concepts and not suitable for Sri Lanka.... we should trust this regime?

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 08:42 AM

    he he he nice joke!!! AG is trying to court martial these exile journalists too..

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 08:44 AM

    Who Is Mohan Peris? Can the President give the guarantee.

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 08:56 AM

    May be they are trying to show the world that they are to protect human rights, which is being highly questioned at the moment in international circles.

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 09:22 AM

    LOL, HE MUST BE JOKING!!!!!!!!!

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 09:24 AM

    Hilarious....wonder whether he can protect himself from public brickbats!

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 09:37 AM

    Those who do not criticise this government will be protected.

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 10:05 AM

    Protecting any one will be easy if the evil of terrorism is won.

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 10:11 AM

    Yes, all these people have become real jokers now

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 10:15 AM

    They would have found a niche there, for which they strived hard!

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 10:17 AM

    Very good so you will be at their door step with a gun in your hand.Dont talk stupid it under value your position.

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 06:31 PM

    Statements alone will not make journalists safe. Is Sri Lanka even safe for the ordinary citizen?

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 06:32 PM

    Won't 'miss,' this time.

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 06:37 PM

    Citizens fleeing their own country is an indicator of a state of terror ...

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 10:54 AM

    Let the international communitity bring down sri lanka from 4th on the hit .there should be collective effort by GOSL

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 10:55 AM

    To what to kill them

    Saturday, 13 March 2010 09:01 AM

    Well said, without any doubt. We have to seek cover out of our country coz there is no law & order here in Sri Lanka for the ordinary man/woman.


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