Sri Lankan reporter 'kidnapped'
A female Tamil reporter named Krishni Ifam was kidnapped by armed men in white van. White van abductions are very common in sri lanka, which are by groups linked to government.
A Sri Lankan journalist says she was kidnapped from outside her home in the capital Colombo and held for a day by people claiming to be the police.
Krishni Ifam, a Tamil reporter who works for media development NGO Internews, said the men had warned her to give up journalism altogether.
She said she was then released in the central city of Kandy late on Wednesday with a tiny amount of cash.
Police in Sri Lanka could not be reached for comment.
The reporter working for a prominent Tamil newspaper was warned to give up writing.
She said men who said they were policemen forced her to get into their vehicle outside her Colombo home early on Wednesday and drove for several hours while keeping her blindfolded.
She said they had taken her belongings, asked if she was writing articles for foreign media outlets and warned her to give up journalism altogether before releasing her.
Ms Ifam used to write for a prominent Tamil-language newspaper.
In another incident a columnist was picked up by men in white van having identity cards from Criminal Investigation Deportment.
Separately, a columnist who usually covers astrology was picked up late on Wednesday by men with identity cards from the Criminal Investigation Department. His wife said he was still being held 24 hours later.
In both these cases the vehicles used were said to be unmarked white vans, which have become notorious in Sri Lanka as a means of abduction and sometimes disappearance.
Becase of these kind of threat, journalists are escaping from sri lanka in large numbers.
The Sri Lankan government insists that the media here are free.
But many journalists say they do not feel free to write or broadcast what they want - many have been physically attacked and others have fled into exile.
A total of 39 journalists across the globe were forced from their countries, but Sri Lanka had by far the highest number of fleeing reporters, the report said.
"Sri Lanka is losing its best journalists to unchecked violence and the resulting conditions of fear and intimidation that are driving writers and editors from their homes," said Joel Simon, the media rights group's executive director. "This is a sad reality in countries throughout the world, where governments allow attacks on the press to go unpunished."