Lanka’s media freedom rated low

Media freedom in Sri Lanka was rated low last year when former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was in power, according to the latest report by the international media rights group, Reporters Without Borders.

The Reporters Without Borders, 2015 world press freedom index ranks Sri Lanka at 165 out of 180 countries, up 2 positions compared to 2013.

In 2013 Sri Lanka was ranked 162 out of 178 countries but last year Reporters Without Borders saw no improvement in the media environment.

Last month, in the wake of Sri Lanka’s presidential election, Reporters Without Borders and Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) called on the new president, Maithripala Sirisena, to end the policy of violence against journalists that was pursued by his predecessor, Mahinda Rajapaksa, and to combat impunity for such violence.

The two organizations welcomed the end of rule by the Rajapaksa brothers, who had been responsible for a great deal of violence against journalists since 2004.

RSF-500x289At the same time, they said they will monitor the new government’s actions closely, as it includes supporters of the previous regime. The two organisations noted that violence continued in 2014, when the media were repeatedly the target of obstruction and attacks during the run-up to the elections, a period also marked by political violence. (Colombo Gazette)