World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Arsonists Destroy Sri Lanka Newspaper Print Shops

Free Media Movement (FMM)

Arsonists destroy publishing house of critical newspapers

FMM reports with outrage that an unidentified gang set fire to one of the major newspaper printing houses early in the morning of 21 November 2007. The printing press of Leader Publications, which publishes the weekly "The Sunday Leader", the mid weekly "Morning Leader" and the "Sinhala Weekly Irudina", was completely destroyed by the fire.

The printing house was situated at 24 Katukurunduwatta Road, in Rathmalana. The damage is estimated at millions of rupees.

The print run of the 21 November issue of the "Morning Leader" was on when a gang of 15 forced themselves into the printing house. The gang first ordered management and workers to hand over their mobile phones and to kneel down before setting fire to the machines, according to journalists who visited the scene.

The 21 November issue of "Morning Leader" is available on-line at:

Recently, the editor of "Morning Leader" has been very critical of the website of "Asia Tribune", which, according to the editor, is working hand-in-hand with the break-away Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) militant group now headed by Pilleyan. She filed a civil defamation case against the website weeks ago and, in retaliation, the website has unleashed a series of articles attacking the "Morning Leader" editor.

The printing press of "The Sunday Leader" was set on fire on a prior occasion, on 17 October 2005 in the run-up to the presidential election. The newspaper and its editor, Mr. Lasantha Wikramatunga, as well as "Morning Leader" editor Sonali Samarasinghe, have been harassed and threatened continuously over the two years prior to this current arson attack. All Leader publications are very critical of the government and exponents of opposition political views.

FMM hold authorities responsible for failing to protect the printing house. The culture of impunity prevailing in this country has prevented any meaningful inquiry into acts of violence against media and journalists that have taken place under this government. The government has failed miserably to uphold and maintain the rule of law as peoples' democratic and human rights are violated.

FMM urges civil and political society members who value freedom of expression to come forward at this time in defence of the right of citizens to information and to a free press in Sri Lanka.


More: Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Timor-Leste: UN Agencies Support Response In Wake Of Deadly Floods

United Nations agencies in Timor-Leste are supporting response efforts, as floods and landslides left widespread damage across the country, including in the capital, Dili. According to media reports, at least 21 people died in the country and many ... More>>

Myanmar: Stop ‘Widespread Violence’ Against Children, UN Officials Urge

Senior United Nations officials on Thursday strongly condemned the ongoing violence by Myanmar’s security forces against civilians, including children, as the members of the Security Council expressed alarm at the rapidly deteriorating situation in ... More>>

COVID-19 Origins Report Inconclusive: We Must ‘Leave No Stone Unturned’ – WHO Chief

The report from a team of international scientists assembled by the World Health Organization (WHO) to examine how COVID-19 first spread to humans was published on Tuesday, and was described by the UN health agency’s chief as a welcome start, ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

Department Of Global Communications: UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ Message For World Health Day 2021

5 APRIL 2021 As COVID-19 Reveals Immoral Inequities in Health System, Secretary-General Observance Message Calls for Applying Policies, Assigning Resources to Ensure Everyone Thrives Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for World ... More>>

Global Development: Responding To COVID-19 Pandemic, Young People Advocate For Bold Solutions

From climate action to addressing inequalities and building peace, youth leaders scale up efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals 7 to 8 April 2021 Follow on UN Web TV Youth leaders, activists and youth-led organizations around the world ... More>>

SDG Action Awards: Winners Announced

Mobilizing, inspiring, and connecting individuals around the globe to #TurnItAround for people and planet Bonn, Germany, 25 March - The 2020 SDG Action Awards Ceremony, which took place on 25 March as a part of the fifth SDG Global Festival of Action ... More>>