Assault on Rivira Editor
Upali Tennekoon, Editor of the weekend publication Rivira was
assaulted by unknown persons near Imbulgoda, 200 metres away from his
residence, yesterday morning when he was driving to work with his wife.
Police spokesman SSP Ranjith Gunasekera said two motorcycles which
were following him, had blocked his vehicle and attacked him.
The attackers first broke the windscreen and the windows by a pole
and cut Tennekoon’s face and hands while his wife was also injured when
she attempted to prevent the attackers harming Tennekoon, the spokesman
The Editor and his wife were brought to the Colombo National Hospital
Prasad Ariyawansa of the Colombo National Hospital said Tennekoon was
treated for lacerations to his hands and forehead. His wife who had cut
wounds in her hand was also treated.
The Government yesterday issued a statement vehemently condemning the
brutal attack on the Editor and his wife and said that at a critical
time when the country is about to eliminate terrorism completely,
certain conspiratory groups are trying to embarrass the Government by
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed the Defense Ministry to
conduct immediate inquiries into the incident.
Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake told Parliament yesterday
that a special investigation will be conducted to probe the assault.
Police spokesman SSP Gunasekera said that two teams from the Colombo
Crime Division and two police teams under the Gampaha SSP were deployed
to carry out the investigations.
Rivira newspaper has a political orientation sympathetic to the
Government and is supportive of the humanitarian operations conducted by
the Security Forces in the Vanni.
The Directors of Rivira Publications include among others Nilanka
Rajapaksa and Prasanna Wickremasuriya.
Its Editor Tennekoon was vehemently criticized recently by Opposition
Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe at a press conference.
Wickremesinghe’s remarks were met with wide opposition from media
organizations and the public as a threat on media freedom.
Several media organizations and civil society groups have already
condemned the attack on the Rivira Editor and his wife.
Tennekoon is a senior journalist and a longstanding Editor, who
worked at the Upali Newspapers prior to joining the Rivira Publications.