Sept 18, Colombo: A Sri Lankan newspaper editor who has come under death threats following the break-in of her house last month by an armed group has fled the country along with her family, a media right group said.
Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema, Associate Editor of English weekly Sunday Leader and the president of the newly formed Sri Lanka Journalists' Trade Union (SLJTU) has left to a North American country along with her family, the media right organization Free Media Movement (FMM) has said.
Five armed men broke into her house in Bambalapitiya in the wee hours of August 24, 2013 and held her at knife point while searching her home for valuables and documents. The police arrived in time to catch the robbers and one of them was killed during the arrest.
The police had identified the five suspects who broke into the house and among them were two army deserters.
The FMM said following the robbery attempt Ms. Abeywickrema had received several death threats after she raised her suspicions that the gang was not looking for valuables but for some documents.
The media movement said her husband, Romesh Abeywickrema who is also attached to the Sunday Leader as its business editor and their daughter have also left the country.
Ms. Abeywickrema joins some 80 journalists who have left the country under threats to life. The former editor of the Sunday Leader Frederica Jansz has also left the country and is residing in the United States currently.