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NUJ sounds alarm at sudden closure plan for BBC Sinhala radio

The BBC World Service has announced the BBC Sinhala radio service will close this Monday on 30 November. The service has 833,000 listeners each week, representing around 7 per cent of the total Sinhala-speaking population of Sri Lanka.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the UK is urging the BBC to urgently press pause on this plan and reconsider the closure, especially given the large audience and the current clampdown on media freedoms and human rights in the country.

National Union of Journalists, November 26th 2020

The restructuring is taking place against a backdrop of decades of arrests, harassment, and killings of journalists. The scourge of impunity for these crimes continues in Sri Lanka. There are also significant and widespread concerns about attacks on freedom of speech and a deteriorating human rights situation, Sri Lanka remains one of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office's 30 human rights priority countries.

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