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21 September 2017

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04/07/2009 SRI LANKA

UNESCO prize for editor of the "Sunday Leader," murdered in Colombo

Lasantha Wickrematunge was killed in January, and those responsible for his death remain unidentified. The UN body is honoring his memory as a "journalist who opposed war." The presentation of the prize will take place on May 3, in Doha.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - UNESCO is awarding the 2009 edition of the World Press Freedom Prize to Lasantha Wickrematunge, the editor of the Sunday Leader newspaper who was murdered last January 8 in Colombo.

Joe Thloloe, head of the jury that awards the prize, says that "Lasantha Wickrematunge continues to inspire journalists around the world." Koïchiro Matsuura, director general of UNESCO, justified the decision by explaining that the prize honors "a journalist who opposed war," and who by his work contributed to "mutual understanding and reconciliation," the theme of the 2009 edition of the prize.

The ceremony for the World Press Freedom Prize will be held on May 3 in Doha, the capital of Qatar, on the occasion of celebrations for the day for freedom of the press proclaimed by UNESCO. The news that the prize has been awarded to Wickrematunge has been greeted with satisfaction by journalists and public opinion in Sri Lanka. After the murder of the editor of the Sunday Leader, there was an outcry against the government of Mahinda Rajapaksa, accusing it of colluding with the killers and endangering freedom of the press in the country.

Last January 28, defense spokesperson Keheliya Rambukwella announced that the government would release the names of the murderers by February. Nevertheless, those responsible for killing Wickrematunge today remain unidentified and at large.






See also

19/01/2009 TURKEY
Thousands of Turks sign petition for acknowledgment of Armenian genocide
The new sensitivity is the result of the death of Hrant Dink, the journalist killed two years ago. People connected to his murder are also part of the trial involving Ergenekon, the clandestine ultranationalist group accused of planning a state coup.

02/02/2011 SRI LANKA
Protest in Colombo after offices of opposition paper set on fire
Among the protesters also the wife of General Sarath Fonseka, who was also supported by the Lanka-e-News website. Associations point to the government, responsible for wanting to restrict freedom of press and expression. The attack is the latest in a series against journalists and media.

29/05/2008 SRI LANKA
For Colombo, media criticism of government "unacceptable"
Five media organisations write to the secretary of defence, criticising his intimidation of two journalists "guilty" of participating in a protest over the violence of the armed forces against "inconvenient" reporters.

23/12/2008 NEPAL
Maoists attack offices of Nepali Times
It is the third attack in three months against the publisher Himalmedia. In the latest edition of one of its magazines, it published a report on the labor unions. Protests of the opposition and of the press association. 70 industries have already suspended production because of protests by members of the All Nepal Trade Union Federation.

24/01/2007 SRI LANKA
Protest against press censorship
Eight journalists are killed in 2006; many more, Tamil and Sinhalese alike, are threatened or attacked. Many choose exile.


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