NY Times asks contact us rather than intimidating journalists

International Editor of The New York Times Michael Slackman says that If Mr. Rajapaksa takes issue with Times reporting, we have encouraged him to contact senior editors at The New York Times rather than intimidating Sri Lankan journalists.

Issuing news release today (3rd) titled Intimidation Campaign Against Sri Lankan Journalists Mr. Slackman also says that This action appears intended to silence critics and curb press freedoms, and ultimately deprive Sri Lankans of information in the public interest.

The text of the release is as follows:

A group of Sri Lankan parliamentarians allied with the former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, held a news conference to publicly criticize two journalists who contributed logistical assistance to a rigorously reported and accurate New York Times investigation

into the Hambantota port, published on June 26.

It is unacceptable for journalists to be intimidated in this way. This action appears intended to silence critics and curb press freedoms, and ultimately deprive Sri Lankans of information in the public interest.

The Times expects the Sri Lankan authorities to ensure the safety of journalists workingfor our — or any — news organization.

If Mr. Rajapaksa takes issue with Times reporting, we have encouraged him to contact senior editors at The New York Times rather than intimidating Sri Lankan journalists.