Friday, January 23, 2009

Sri Lanka: Church condemns violence against media

UCA News reports that about 100 protesters from media groups, the National Christian Council, Protestant priests, and Catholic journalists and laypeople rallied on Jan. 6 to protest against an attack the previous night on the MTV station and MBC TV and radio studio. Three days earlier, a petrol bomb was thrown at the building housing the TV station, popularly known as Sirasa.

In a statement on Jan. 6, Archbishop Oswald Gomis of Colombo condemned the violence.

"We are listed among the countries where the freedom of the media is threatened, and incidents such as these will further degrade our position before the world. Thus the attack on Sirasa is an onslaught on that basic freedom of all persons who value democracy, and should be viewed not just as an attack on one single media organization, but as an attack on one of the fundamental liberties of our whole democratic institution." The Bishops' Conference issued a further statement on January 12th condemning the killings of media personnel.