Police probing armed assault on investigative journalist | Daily News


 

Protests over political threats to media:

Police probing armed assault on investigative journalist

PROTESTING POLITICAL ATTACK ON JOURNALIST: Representatives from political parties, civil society groups and journalists organisations held a protest in front of Fort Railway station, Colombo, yesterday against the armed assault on freelance investigative journalist Lasantha Wijeratne by an armed group that stormed his house in Meepe, Habaraduwa, on Wednesday night. Wijeratne was allegedly attacked by a group affiliated to a leading political party for writing a book on corruption. See report on this page. P
PROTESTING POLITICAL ATTACK ON JOURNALIST: Representatives from political parties, civil society groups and journalists organisations held a protest in front of Fort Railway station, Colombo, yesterday against the armed assault on freelance investigative

The Habaraduwa Police has begun investigating the Wednesday night attack on a well-known freelance journalist in which an armed group with their faces masked had entered his home in Meepe and reportedly severely assaulted him threatening death if he continued his investigative reporting of corruption relating to a prominent political family of the country.

Rights groups and media activists demonstrated in protest against the assault in Colombo yesterday.

The victim, Sinhala language journalist Lasantha Wijeratne, had been admitted to the Karapitiya hospital with cut injuries following the attack.

According to Police reports, one gang member had attacked Wijeratne with a helmet and another tried to stab him with a knife. When Wijeratne tried to ward off the attack with his left hand, the assailants had inflicted two cut injuries on his hand and escaped.

Wijeratne had authored a book titled ‘Wasteful Development and Corruption’ and presented it to a presidential candidate at an election rally held in Ahangama recently.

His wife, Madusha Priyangika believes that this could be the reason behind the attack. She told news media that her husband was also the secretary of the ‘Movement against State Fraud and Corruption’ and a lecturer attached to a private university. She said that one member of the armed group had held a weapon against her head and threatened to wipe out her entire family.

The armed men vowed to come back again irrespective of the election results. They also threatened her husband to desist from writing books again.

He is currently receiving treatments at the Karapitiya Hospital.


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