Journalist abducted in S Lanka

2009-06-01 21:21

Colombo - A senior journalist and media rights activist was abducted and assaulted in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo on Tuesday, in another attack on media workers in the country, police said.

Journalist Poddalay Jayantha who is also the secretary of the Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association (SLWJA), the biggest media rights groups in the country, was abducted by unidentified men in a van and later dumped in the outskirts of the capital.

He has been admitted to hospital with injuries to his leg, a spokesperson for the hospital said.

Attacks on journos on the increase in Sri Lanka

"I was dragged into the van and beaten up and they cut part of my hair as well," he said.

Attacks on journalists have been on the increase in Sri Lanka. At least one of the most senior editors of an anti-government newspaper was killed by unknown gunmen early this year while several others have fled the country due to threats.

Jayantha was one of the journalists who organised protests against the government accusing them of harassing journalists and also calling for the protection for journalists.

During the past two and half years, since the President Mahinda Rajapaksa government took office, at least eight media workers including journalists have been killed and more than 15 attacks and threats have been carried out on journalists.

There was no immediate reaction from the government about the attack. Media groups and journalists have condemned the incident.