Colombo: The United States on Saturday
condemned the attack on a Sri Lankan private television
station and its affiliated radio network that was critical of
the government, saying such acts imperil media freedom in the
The Siyatha TV office came under attack in the early
hours yesterday when a group of unidentified men stormed the
office, assaulted its employees, and set fire to the premises.
Two employees sustained serious injuries during the attack at
the Siyatha TV and its affiliated radio station located in the
heart of the capital.
"The United States condemns the attack by unknown
assailants on the studios of Siyatha Television and its
affiliated radio stations, the US Embassy said here.
The media network had backed the detained ex-army
chief Sarath Fonseka in January`s presidential election, which
was won by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The attack comes after journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda,
known to be critical of the government, is suspected to have
been abducted in January.
"This attack, together with the unsolved disappearance
of (journalist) Prageeth Eknaligoda and other acts of violence
against the press, serves to intimidate journalists and to
further imperil media freedoms in Sri Lanka, the embassy said
in a statement.
The government today ordered the special
investigation on the "reported attack" on the private radio
and TV station.
"We welcome the announcement of a police investigation
since only a credible inquiry will bring the perpetrators to
justice, the embassy said.