Demand Sri Lankan Government Increase Protection for Journalists

Mahinda_Rajapaksa_in_Russia

Target: President Mahinda Rajapaksa

Goal: Provide better security for journalists in Sri Lanka

A Sri Lankan journalist was recently shot by intruders late at night in the comfort of his own home. The victim, Faraz Shaukatally, was peacefully sleeping when three men broke through his door and bombarded him in his bedroom. One of the men shot Shaukatally in the neck.

Sri Lanka is one of the nations with the lowest regard for journalists, and these journalists easily fall victims to hatred and violent attacks. Fortunately for Shaukatally, the bullet wound was not life threatening as he entered surgery for the removal of the bullet. However, the amount of violence aimed toward journalists must stop in Sri Lanka. The government has to be responsible for the safety of all its citizens and increase security for journalists.

Shaukatally’s attack is common in Sri Lanka where 25 press-related workers have been murdered since 1999. Of the 25 deaths, nine of them are still unsolved despite the longevity of the cases. There have not been any journalist deaths for roughly four years now, but that does not mean the violence is not present. According to CNN, over 63% of the journalists that were killed were involved in covering the nation’s politics. Shaukatally was also reporting on a few investigative pieces before his attack.

According to Shakuntala Perera, the head of the Sunday Leader, many of the  “journalists have been under constant threat.” Perera, who is Shaukatally’s boss, does not know if there is a link between Shaukatally’s work and his recent attack, but the attack definitely reminds everyone how dangerous it is for journalists to work in Sri Lanka.

Changes need to be made immediately. The danger that these workers face is unacceptable. The government cannot keep allowing these violent crimes to occur by not punishing those who are responsible. Demand that the Sri Lankan government investigate who tried to murder Shaukatally and ultimately provide better security for journalists within the nation.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Mahinda Rajapaksa,

An innocent Sri Lankan journalist, Faraz Shaukatally, was shot in the neck after three men invaded his home late at night. Fortunately, Shaukatally survived the attack, but his attackers are still at large. Sri Lanka has a history of violence toward journalists and it is time that the government aims to change that by providing better security for the journalists.

Furthermore, it is vital that the government investigates this attack. Previous journalist murders have gone unsolved even after a decade. Please put in more effort in protecting your citizens, especially those working as journalists.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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