ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe expressed regret over the assault of a television crew in front of his residence while police chief Chandana Wickremeratne will take immediate action, police sources said.
Four journalists from Sri Lanka’s Newsfirst channel were brutally assaulted and hospitalized, the TV network said.
“The Prime Minister expresses grave regret over the assault on journalists who are covering the ongoing protests, by security personnel,” a statement from Prime Minister’s office said.
“Freedom of media is paramount to Democracy in Sri Lanka.
“The Prime Minister requests both the security forces and the protesters to act with restraint to prevent any violence and ensure the safety of the public”.
Police Chief Wickremeratne will suspend at least four officers who are found to have been involved in the assault, official sources said.
Staff Reporter Sarasi Pieris, Cameraman Varuna Sampath, U D Sindujan from the Tamil news division and Janitha Mendis from online new has been assaulted, the news channel said.
They are now being treated in hospital.
The team was covering a protest in front of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s private residence.
Me and my Camaramen hit by police STF near the @RW_UNP private residence while doing our job. pic.twitter.com/970HHdSN7v
— Arosha Fernando (@sandunarosha) July 9, 2022
Citizen.lk journalist Sandun Arosha said he and his cameraman were also assaulted.
මාධ්ය නිදහසට අත එසවීම යුක්ති සහගත නොවේ. ප්රජාතන්ත්රවාදී රටක නිදහස් අරගල කිරීමේ අයිතිය ජනතාවට ඇතිසේම එහි නිවැරදි වාර්තාකරණය මාධ්යවේදීන්ට ඇති අයිතියකි. @SirasaTVlk ආයතනයේ #NewsFirst මාධ්යවේදීන්ට පොලිසීය විසින් අග්රාමාත්ය නිවස ඉදිරිපිටදී දරුණු ලෙස පහරදීම තරයේ හෙළා දකිමි.
— Eran Wickramaratne (@EranWick) July 9, 2022
Samagi Jana Balawegaya legislator Eran Wickremeratne also condemned the assault.