Professionalism, Peace Reporting and Journalists’ Safety in Sri Lanka

Seyed Bazeer, Human Rights Lawyer and member of the Sri Lankan Muslim Community in London:

"The constitution provides for freedom of speech which includes publication. Human rights violations
have been going on in Sri Lanka for a number of years. Just as under the regime of all the Sri Lankan leaders.
Martyn Lewis, a former BBC newsreader, once said: “We are very good as journalists at analyzing failure, but we are not so good at analyzing success” Sunanda mentioned about the journalists killed in Colombo but he failed to mention the violations of human rights of others killed. Who killed them? And why this has not been reflected in this meeting today. What about other journalists killed, journalists like Relangi Selvarajah and her husband, and Bala Nadarajah Iyer of Thinamurasu, a Tamil weekly. He was killed as well but nothing was said about him today. Is there any hidden agenda?

Another vexing problem is the way the media is being manipulated not to report about other human rights violations. We always talk about media freedom and democracy but when they killed people who stood for rights there, or who left the country? My photograph was published all over the place saying that I was an Al-Qaeda leader in Sri Lanka. I am a human rights lawyer but I am branded an Al-Qaeda leader by the pro-LTTE media when I criticize the LTTE. Hence our media freedom is also threatened here."

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