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Government deplores attempts to curb media freedom

COLOMBO: The Government yesterday deplored attacks on media personnel and media institutions in the North and East.

The Government Information Department in a news release said these attacks on the media have been perpetrated by terrorist groups and interested parties outside the democratic mainstream.

It added: "The latest of such incidents is the burning of copies of Virakesari newspapers by an unknown group in Batticaloa on Monday. The Government deplores the incident and has ordered an immediate investigation into the incident.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed the Inspector General of Police to carry out comprehensive investigations into these incidents and report early as possible.

The Government is fully committed to media freedom and will continue to take every possible step to protect the media institutions and media personnel.

The Government recognises that an attempt to prevent distribution of newspapers in an attack on the right to information and it is totally unacceptable in a democracy.

The media has the fullest freedom to inform the people and no group or person has a right to interfere with this freedom. The Government will not tolerate any attempts by any group or person to harass or intimidate media and every possible step will be taken to foster, strengthen and sustain media freedom in Sri Lanka."

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Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
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