Apr 16, New York: Sri Lanka has been ranked as the fourth worst place for journalists worldwide in the updated Global Impunity Index published by the New York based-Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
While no apparent progress was made in any cases in Sri Lanka, CPJ did not record any new murders in the country from 2009 to 2013.
Sri Lanka received an Impunity Index Rating of 0.443 which represents unsolved journalist murders per million inhabitants.
CPJ's 2014 Global Impunity Index spotlights countries where journalists are slain and the killers are most likely to go free.
The CPJ in its report on Sri Lanka said though the civil war ended nearly five years ago, "the government of Mahinda Rajapaksa has shown no political will to address its record of perfect impunity in the nine murders of journalists that have taken place under his leadership, first as prime minister and then as president."
According to the report, government and military officials are suspected to be behind several of the murders, including the 2009 assassination of prominent editor Lasantha Wickrematunga, known for his critical reporting, and the nearly 10-year-old shooting of Aiyathurai Nadesan, penname Nellai G. Nadesan, an award-winning journalist who was threatened before his death in response to his reporting about the army.
Impunity in Sri Lanka is a major factor behind high numbers of journalists going into exile, according to CPJ research.
In the impunity index released Wednesday, CPJ said Syria has joined the list of countries where journalists' murders are most likely to go unpunished, while Iraq, Somalia, and the Philippines once again were the worst three offenders.
Behind the Philippines at third place are Sri Lanka (4), Colombia (5), Afghanistan (6), Mexico (7), Pakistan (8), Russia (9), Brazil (10), Nigeria (11) and India (12).
Pakistan, Russia and Brazil achieved at least one conviction in the murder of a journalist and convictions in four countries represented a glimmer of good news.