Will Impunity Ever End? Sri Lanka Ranked 141st in World Press Freedom Index


The World Press Freedom Index published by the ‘Committee for Protection of Journalists'(CPJ) reveals that the Press Freedom in 2017 has been seriously violated worldwide.
According to the investigation report in 172 countries, turkey has become the worst state that violates freedom of Media. By April this year, 152 Turkish journalists have been sent to jail. In addition to that, 170 media institutions have been closed down. It is recognised that State media censorship, organised crime and commercial impacts are major threats to the freedom. According to the report, Media freedom in Turkey, Brazil , Burundi, Egypt, Poland, Venezuela and Bangladesh has been heavily suppressed. After the year 2000, the biggest threat to media freedom has been targeted in 2017.
In 2016, there have been 426 attacks on journalists and media reported in Mexico alone. Similarly, Britain has also imposed heavy rules of procedure to investigate under the Investigation Powers Act. In 2016, 259 journalists from all over the world were imprisoned and 79 were killed. According to the report, US President Donald Trump has humiliated the media saying that the media broadcasts fake news.
Meanwhile, the Media Freedom Index published by the ‘Reporters Without Borders’, Sri Lanka was ranked 141st place. Their website explains how the current government has fulfilled its promises to media freedom:

“Will impunity ever end?

A few months after being sworn in as President in January 2015, Maithripala Sirisena said he wanted to re-open all investigations into the murders of journalists. Some progress has been made in the investigation into Lasantha Wickrematunga’s murder, but most other investigations of this nature go unresolved. The new government also assured journalists that they would not be persecuted due to their political views or their coverage of sensitive subjects such as corruption and human rights violations by the military. However, an attack on journalist Freddy Gamage in June 2016 fuelled the doubts of both the public and media freedom defenders. The Tamil media, often the target of attacks and censorship both during the civil war and after, are still on their guard. In March 2016, the ministry of parliamentary reform and mass media ordered all news websites to register with the government or become illegal. This vague and disproportionate directive immediately reminded the media and citizen journalists of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s censorship methods.