The appointment of Mervyn Silva, a politician with an established record of hostility towards journalists, as deputy minister of Information within the Sri Lankan government in April this year was met with calls for his removal by press freedom organisations.
What can be done to protect journalists working in Sri Lanka who face threats, imprisonment and violence as a result of doing their work?
Join us at the Frontline Club where we will be discussing press freedom in Sri Lanka and the impact that government has on its reporting of human rights abuses within the country. Is the Sri Lankan media in a position to hold the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to account?
Could the West and its media do more?
With us to discuss this will be:
Douglas Wickramaratne, poitical analyst, former president of the World Federation of Sri Lankan Associations and current president of the Sinhala Association of Sri Lankans in the UK;
Jonathan Miller, foreign affairs correspondent, Channel 4 News;
Edward Mortimer, senior vice-president and chief programme officer at the Salzburg Global Seminar and chair of the Advisory Council for the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice;
Yolanda Foster, Amnesty International's Sri Lanka rsearcher
Chaired by Stephen Sackur, presenter of BBC HARDtalk who has recently worked on a series of 'HARDtalk On The Road' programmes looking at the legacy of thirty years of civil war in Sri Lanka and examining the country's commitment to human rights and the rule of law.