Sacked SL editor says Oz asylum denied due to her lack of info
Colombo: A day after announcing that Australia had denied asylum to her despite threats to her life here, the sacked editor of an anti-government newspaper in Sri Lanka today said that her application was rejected due to her lack of information on the grounds for seeking refuge.
"I was not aware that you could not apply for asylum while still being here in Sri Lanka", Frederica Jansz, who was terminated by the new owners of the 'Sunday Leader' two weeks ago, told reporters.
"I received an offer and I applied. Now they say that you have to leave the country to qualify for consideration. I can't stay out of the country for three months with my children until they processed my application," Jansz said.
She said she had lodged her application when she was receiving death threats for her editorial comments and exposes in the Sunday Leader, the most prominent of anti-government papers in the island nation that had come under attacks by unknown groups in the past.
The newspaper's founder editor Lasantha Wickrematunga was killed in broad day light while motoring to office in January 2009.
Jansz, who had succeeded him, claimed the new owners of the company had told her not to be critical of the government.
Disagreement led to her being dismissed, as the owners were close government supporters, she alleged.
A case filed for defamation against her by the country's powerful Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was still pending.