(VIDEO) Journalists attacked during Live Prime Time News

(VIDEO) Journalists attacked during Live Prime Time News

(VIDEO) Journalists attacked during Live Prime Time News

Written by Zulfick Farzan

10 Jul, 2022 | 5:51 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lankan witnessed its largest ever anti-government protest in decades, as thousands made their way to the country’s capital Colombo on Saturday (9) and occupied the President’s Office, and the President’s House forcing President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his aides to flee.

Saturday’s escalation of protests could spell the end of the Rajapaksa family’s political control, which ruled Sri Lanka for most of the past two decades.

Following the massive protest during the day, Sri Lankans then proceeded to another part of Colombo not far from the main protest site in Galle Face. They marched to the private residence of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, located in an exclusive neighborhood.

It was during the live coverage of this protest that a team of News 1st journalists came under attack from security forces.

What Happened?

A team of News 1st journalists reached the protest march at around 7:10 PM on Saturday (9) to record footage and go-live during the 7 PM Prime Time News Bulletin.

At approximately 7:20 PM News 1st did a live coverage from the protest site, where tensions were rising between security forces and Sri Lankans demanding change.

News 1st’s Sarasi Peiris, and Judin Sinthujan were reporting on the protests with Camerman Warun Sampath, and Janith Mendis from News 1st Digital.

News 1st’s Digital Correspondent (Janitha Mendis) had already informed the security forces that the coverage was going live on air on the News 1st 7 PM Prime Time News Bulletin.

However, what happened afterwards was a brutal and inhumane attacked by the Police and the Police Special Task Force on unarmed News 1st Journalists.

The footage recorded by News 1st clearly shows that Commanding Officer of the Police Special Task Force SSP Romesh Liyanage gave a signal to his troops before the brutal attacks.

What Happened Thereafter?

As footage of the attack rolled live, with many watching in disbeliefe, a team from News 1st rushed to the scene to bring back their injured colleagues.

Security Forces then fired tear gas and attacked another four News 1st journalists.

These journalists were Kalimuttu Chandran, Imesh Sutherland, Chanuka Weerakoon, and Banidu Lokuruge.

The injured journalists were then rushed to the Colombo National Hospital.

23-year-old Journalist and Anchor Sara Peiris suffered serious injuries to her head and back.

Waruna Sampath, Judin Sinthujan, and Janitha Mendis also suffered serious injuries.

Police Spokesperson SSP Nihal Thalduwa stated that disciplinary action will be taken against SSP Romesh Liyanage, who took steps to order for the assault on eight News 1st journalists today (09).

The Spokesperson stated that the IGP has instructed to take immediate action to conduct an investigation into the incident as well.

The Following is a detailed report from the News 1st 9 PM News Bulletin.

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