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Attack on Sirasa TV network is "an attack on democracy", says FMM

(FMM/IFEX) - FMM and its partners - the Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association (SLWJA), the Federation of Media Employees Trade Union (FMETU), the Sri Lanka Muslim Media Forum (SLMMF) and the Sri Lanka Tamil Journalists Alliance (SLTJA) - condemn the attack on the head offices of Sirasa (MTV-MBC) TV network as an attack on democracy in Sri Lanka.

Unknown assailants attacked the station's offices with stones on 22 March 2010. The station's offices are located in the busy centre of the capital, Colombo. "The audacity shown by the assailants in attacking this well-known media house in daylight is an indicator of the non-existence of the rule of law in Sri Lanka today," said FMM.

FMM and its partners demand that law enforcement agencies take legal action not only against those who took part in the attack but also against the powerful people behind the attack.

FMM further believes the attack is not an accident. "We would like to point out with regret that the government's inability or unwillingness in bringing the culprits of the very serious attacks against the media and journalists that have taken place in recent times to book works as an incentive for attacking independent media institutions and persons holding dissenting voices," said the organisation.

"We, the five media organisations, express our solidarity with the Sirasa TV network in the face of continued threats and intimidations it has been to facing over the last few years. At the same time, we earnestly urge the people of our country not to vote for any candidate known to be unruly and violent in the upcoming general election on 8 April without considering their political affiliations."
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