Sri Lankan Immigration sleuths on Wednesday detained two activists of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and questioned them for over four hours about their activities since their arrival in Sri Lanka on a tourist visa.
Jaqcui Park, Asia Pacific Director of IFJ and her colleague, were ordered to be deported as they were not authorised to indulge in any journalistic or political activity on a tourist visa. But that did not prevent the CID from grilling them. Their local contact, Free Media Movement leader Sunil Jayasekara, was also questioned and a statement was obtained from him.
About 20 media personnel, including editors, were at the Galle Face Hotel lobby to express solidarity with the media rights activists.
The Lankan government is worried that international media rights activists may sully the image of the country ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in November. International rights groups have been lambasting the government for curbing press freedom through intimidation.(New Indian Express)