Sri Lanka improves press freedom ranking

Press freedom in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has further improved its press freedom, and ranked in between Uganda and Zimbabwe in the latest version of the World Press Freedom Index compiled by the Reporters Without Borders.

In the 2019 index of the Reporters Without Borders also known as Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF), Sri Lanka ranked at 126 out of 180 countries going up five notches from last year’s rank.

In 2018 index, the country ranked at 131 and it ranked at 141 in 2017 index. According to the 2019 report, Sri Lanka ranked among Uganda and Zimbabwe which ranked at 125 and 127 respectively.The RSF index said President Maithripala Sirisena said he wanted to reopen the investigations into all the murders of journalists during the preceding ‘dark decade’ (2005-2015) when Mahinda Rajapaksa was President.

“Some progress has been made in the investigation into Lasantha Wickrematunga’s murder but almost all the others remain unpunished. In 2018, there were many cases of journalists being threatened, oppressed or denied access to certain regions by the security forces, especially in the north and east of the island, where Tamil journalists were targeted by the police and military,” it said.

As usual, Scandinavian countries dominated the first 10 ranks of the index. Norway top the rankings followed by Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, New Zealand, Jamaica, Belgium and Costa Rica.

Some neighbours ranked way below Sri Lanka with India at 140, Pakistan at 142 and Bangladesh at 150. However, Afghanistan was ranked at 121, Nepal at 106, Maldives at 98 and Bhutan at 80.Turkmenistan was the country with the least press freedom as it was ranked at 180 followed by North Korea, Eritrea, China and Vietnam.

(Government News Portal)