“I hope to take to the people the vision set out in the policy framework that my government is committed to implementing.” Mr. Rajapaksa further said that he had formulated a policy during the presidential election last year.
He was speaking to the board of directors of ITN Television a few weeks after the establishment of the Sinhala Buddhist Task Force on the Protection of Sri Lanka’s Historic Heritage in the Eastern Province. The task force is unhappy with minorities as part of a process of Sinhalaization as part of the government’s approach to using archeology as a tactic to acquire lands in the east where the largest Tamil-speaking population lives.
During Rajapakse’s previous term as defense secretary, his involvement in the killings, abductions and harassment of journalists critical of the government is a well-kept secret.
During that period from 2004 to 2009, more than 48 journalists and media workers were killed, 41 of them Tamils. Defense Secretary Rajapaksa at the time said that dissent during the war was a treasonous act and that he had recently stated that only “favorable media reporting” should be allowed.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has warned of an increase in attacks on journalists, while Tamil journalists have been subjected to violence and harassment by security forces. Sri Lanka is ranked 126th out of 180 countries in the RSF 2019 World Press Freedom Index.
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