ADDRESS OF PARLIAMENTARIAN (or copy this text into an email) 10/8/2011 ****Please personalise this letter as much as possible for

maximum impact***** Dear politician’s name, The situation in Sri Lanka is as grim as it has been in a long time. While many are thankful that the war is over, the human rights situation has not improved. The Asian Human Rights Council has documented 1,500 cases of police torture since 1998 and 1,700 people have been abducted for political reasons in the last three years. Meanwhile allegations of war crimes perpetrated by the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE remain uninvestigated, even though found to be credible by a UN panel of experts, while many of those on both sides alleged to have committed the crimes are now members of the ruling government. A significant part of the reason why the situation in Sri Lanka has become so bad is the lack of independent media scrutiny. This in turn results from the extraordinary pressure the government of Sri Lanka has placed the media under. 34 Journalists have been killed in Sri Lanka since 2005 and not one killer has gone to jail. The Committee to Protect Journalists considers Sri Lanka the fourth most dangerous place to work in the world – ahead of Afghanistan, Russia, Mexico and Columbia. The Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice has launched a report on media freedom in Sri Lanka ( and an action plan ( to tackle the situation. Please support this campaign. You can do so in the following ways: 1 Write to me and to confirming that you support the action plan. The Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice may list all the politicians who support the campaign on their blog so please make it clear if you do not want to make your support public. 2 The action plan highlights 7 things our government could do to help journalists in Sri Lanka get the truth out. Please write to our Foreign Minister [[IN USA SUBSTITUTE Please write to the Secretary of State]] and ask him/her to: ● Protest strongly to the Government of Sri Lanka whenever a journalist from our country is denied a visa to enter Sri Lanka or is denied access to areas within Sri Lanka Instruct our Embassy or Consulate in Colombo to give threatened journalists, and witnesses to the assassination of journalists, access to safe houses, and facilities for leaving to a safer country through a fast and timely in-country asylum system Provide hosting assistance to exiled Sri Lankan journalists including scholarships, language training and professional continuing-education opportunities.

Give an assurance that no journalists or human rights/democracy activists seeking asylum will be returned until the situation in Sri Lanka improves dramatically. ● Make sure the UN Human Rights Council investigates the attack on each and every journalist ● Provide for victim support for the families of murdered or “disappeared” journalists. ● Press the Government of Sri Lanka to adopt a Freedom of Information Act, and correct the culture that today so greatly damages free speech. The asylum issue is particularly important as many journalists do not feel it is safe to tell the truth knowing how many others have been killed and how difficult it is to leave in a hurry. Given the lack of a proper witness protection system in Sri Lanka, and the clear willingness of perpetrators to eliminate victims, the asylum process must be proactive, and based in-country, to ensure proper protection of those at risk. The superb service provided by the Swiss embassy in Colombo shows what can be achieved 3 The assault on media freedom is a symptom of the culture of impunity prevalent in Sri Lanka. This has been encouraged and deepened by a lack of investigation into the war crimes credibly alleged to have been committed in 2009. [[UK ONLY]] Please sign EDM 1882 calling for an independent international investigation of these allegations. [OTHER COUNTRIES] Please sponsor a legislative motion calling for an independent international investigation of these allegations. With your help we can bring free speech back to Sri Lanka Kind regards, Your name, address and email address

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