Sri Lankan media associations today expressed their deep concern over Sri Lanka Army Commander who is noted for alleged human right violations threatening another staff journalist of a national newspaper to discontinue her weekly defence column.
It has been reported to the our organisations that Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka had told staff journalist Indika Ramanayake of Lankadeepa news paper that he would not cooperate with the newspaper if it did not stop the two regular and defence related columns.
The regular columns in question are a defence analysis by Duminda Sanjeewa in Sunday Lankadeepa and a Sinhala translation of the security situation column by Iqbal Athas, associate editor of the Sunday Times.
Lt. Gen. Fonseka had made the statement when staff journalist Ramanayake had called him on 5th of August to seek his permission to obtain certain information from another officer.
The five media organisations strongly condemning the reported warning by the Army Commander said they consider this incident as an indirect intimidation aimed at media censorship.
`When a military officer of highest order such as army commander makes such a request it automatically becomes an indirect order and creates fear among the journalists mentioned. Further this request, or rather order, is a breach of the people`s right to information. This is the context we express our disappointment over this incident, the associations said.