ECONOMYNEXT –A prominent Sri Lankan journalist, whose residence came under attack in the early hours of Monday (14) days ahead of an important UN human rights session, said police investigations are under way and that it’s too early to point to any one party that might have had cause to attack him.
Chamuditha Samarawickrama, considered a firebrand media personality with a large online following on top of a TV career going back over two decades, told EconomyNext on Monday that, around 2.10 in the morning, a group of four men had forced their way into the gated community he lives in in Piliyandala.
“They had held the security guard at gun point and left one of them behind to keep an eye on him, while the rest of them walked over to my place and pelted rocks and pots of faeces at our house,” said Samarawickrama.
The journalist said he and his family got woken up by the sound of what might have been a gunshot, followed by the sound of rocks hitting his roof.
Shattered windowpanes and pots and bags of faeces were everywhere, he said.
CCTV footage, now being examined by Piliyandala police, had shown the three men had come in full-face helmets and towels wrapped around their faces to conceal their identity, said Samarawickrama.
Samarawickrama has been courting controversy with a series of explosive interviews published on his YouTube channel ‘Truth with Chamuditha’.
His latest videos include one with the leader of the Ape Janabala Pakshaya, who had levelled allegations against controversial Buddhist monk Galabadaththe Gnanasara thero. The monk now heads a task force appointed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa named ‘One Country, One Law’.
Another video interview with Chandimal Jayasinghe, the Sri Lankan franchise holder for the Mrs World pageant, had racked up over 350,000 views. In the video, Jayasinghe had made some remarks about Pushpika de Silva, who recently lost her Mrs Sri Lanka for Mrs World title, the culmination of a widely publicised scandal that erupted last year when her crown was forcibly taken off at the 2021 Mrs Sri Lanka pageant.
Asked if he suspects anyone for the attack, Samarawickrama said it’s too early to tell.
“It’s still early. We have made videos on various issues. It’s hard to say at this point who might be behind it,” he said.
The attack on Samarwickrama’s residence comes days ahead of the next United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session where Sri Lanka’s human rights record is expected to be taken up. Sri Lanka has been facing increased international pressure to address alleged past human rights violations including attacks on the media. (Colombo/Feb14/2022)