Lanka editor 'detained'

COLOMBO: Media groups in Sri Lanka today accused the government of detaining a senior editor and shutting down his newspaper because the publication backed the losing opposition candidate in elections.

Press owners, editors and rights bodies issued a joint statement saying the closure of the pro-opposition Lanka weekly and the detention of Chandana Sirimalwatte was a “fatal blow to media freedom and democracy.” “Promises made during the presidential campaign to defend press freedom and speed up investigations into assassinations of journalists have evaporated within days,” the group said. Meanwhile, President Mahinda Rajapaksa today revoked an expulsion order against a Swiss reporter who covered the island’s election.