Lankan newsmen demand new probe into journalist’s killing

Sri Lankan journalists shout slogans holding a portrait of killed journalist Dharmeratnam Sivaram during a protest in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Friday. (AP)
Updated 29 April 2016

Lankan newsmen demand new probe into journalist’s killing

COLOMBO: Hundreds of journalists and media rights activists protested on Friday to demand Sri Lanka’s new government start a fresh investigation into the abduction and killing of a prominent ethnic Tamil journalist 11 years ago, during the country’s civil war.
Those demonstrating in front of Colombo’s main railroad station said Dharmeratnam Sivaram was targeted because of uncompromising coverage of political and military matters.
Media rights activist Lasantha Ruhunage said even 11 years after, the law enforcement authorities have failed to find the killers and “therefore they should start a fresh investigation and bring the culprits before law.”
Sivaram was found dead on April 29, 2005, in the capital, Colombo, after being abducted the previous evening.
The 30-year civil war ended in 2009 after government troops defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels, who fought to create a separate state for minority Tamils. Scores of journalists and media workers were killed during the war, and several dozen journalists fled the country.
The government has promised to implement a compensation plan for 44 journalists and other media workers killed under the former government, but Ruhunage said “more than compensation, the attacks on journalists, media workers and media institutions should be properly investigated and those responsible for the attacks should be punished, in order to ensure justice to the media community.”
The new government that came into power last year promised to ensure media freedom and to investigate attacks on media under the previous government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who lost last year’s presidential election. While Rajapaksa was in power, a prominent opposition newspaper editor and scores of journalists were killed and some others were assaulted while some private TV stations were attacked.


UK to reopen thousands of shops in easing of coronavirus lockdown, says Boris Johnson

Updated 25 May 2020

UK to reopen thousands of shops in easing of coronavirus lockdown, says Boris Johnson

  • From June 1, outdoor markets and car showrooms could be reopened
  • Johnson is keen to restart an economy which has been all but shut down since Britain entered a lockdown

LONDON: Britain will reopen thousands of high street shops, department stores and shopping centers next month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday, setting out a timetable for businesses as part of moves to ease the coronavirus lockdown.
He told a news conference that from June 1, outdoor markets and car showrooms could be reopened as soon as they are able to meet the COVID-19 secure guidelines, and all other non-essential retail from June 15 if the government’s tests are met.
Johnson is keen to restart an economy which has been all but shut down since Britain entered a lockdown to try to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, but also fears a second peak of infection if measures are eased too quickly.

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READ MORE: Aide to British PM Dominic Cummings says he doesn’t regret COVID-19 lockdown trip

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“Today, I want to give the retail sector notice of our intentions to reopen shops, so they too can get ready,” Johnson said. “There are careful but deliberate steps on the road to rebuilding our country.”
The government said shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, plus tailors, auction houses, photography studios, and indoor markets, would be expected to be able to reopen from June 15, giving them three weeks to prepare.
It said that businesses would only be able to open from those dates once they had completed a risk assessment, in consultation with trade union representatives or workers, and are confident they are managing the risks.
“The high street sits at the heart of every community in the country,” Business minister Alok Sharma said in a statement.
“Enabling these businesses to open will be a critical step on the road to rebuilding our economy, and will support millions of jobs across the UK.”