British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka issued the following statement to mark World Press Freedom Day, which falls on Saturday, 3 May:
“We are committed to peaceful, open dialogue and the free flow of information, including through a free and responsible media, and to enhancing democratic traditions and strengthening democratic processes” – the Commonwealth Charter. “Across the world, journalists face constant threats because of their work. Many journalists in Sri Lanka work against a similarly difficult backdrop: harassment and intimidation continue. Sri Lanka continues to drop down the World press Freedom Index. Nine journalists were killed between 2000 and 2009 and the families are still awaiting justice in these cases. We encourage the government of Sri Lanka to renew its commitment to free expression by protecting journalists and ensuring investigations take place into past crimes.
We live in an age of widespread global change, where prosperity and human rights go hand-in-hand. Values such as democratic freedoms, the rule of law and the freedom of expression are what anchor our societies through this change. The UK firmly believes that we and our partners need to stay true to these values.
On World Press Freedom Day, we celebrate the right to freedom of expression and renew our commitment to upholding it.”