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Press Statement
Robert Wood, Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
January 8, 2009


Assassination of Lasantha Wickrematunge and Attack on Sirasa TV

The United States strongly condemns the murder today of the Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge and the January 5th attack on Sirasa TV. These deplorable acts mark the latest in a series of attempts to quell independent voices in Sri Lanka. The murder of Lasantha Wickrematunge is a shocking blow to independent media in Sri Lanka. This is the second attack in 48 hours against individuals or media outlets and just the latest in a string of incidents against journalists. The United States is deeply concerned that such attacks undermine efforts to build a united and democratic Sri Lanka where the rights of all people are protected. We call on the Government of Sri Lanka to investigate these attacks expeditiously, bring the perpetrators to justice, and take all possible measures to protect freedom of expression for members of the press.

2009/022

Released on January 8, 2009

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