COLOMBO  - Media activists in Sri Lanka are organising a boycott of the upcoming South Asian summit in Colombo in protest at escalating attacks against journalists, a report said Sunday. The Lakbima News weekly said several media outlets had agreed in principle not to cover the August 1 summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc), without naming the groups involved. "A number of local and international media organisations have agreed on the proposal to boycott the coverage of the summit as the Sri Lankan government has not ensured that journalists could perform their duties without hindrance," it said. The report came amid mounting international concern for Press freedom in the island nation, where government forces have been locked in combat with Tamil separatist rebels for decades. The United States said Thursday that it had "strong concerns" about Sri Lanka's deteriorating human rights record and escalating attacks on the local media. A journalist and a senior officer of the British High Commission were beaten up and their car smashed in the capital on Monday, just six days after Colombo set up a cabinet-level panel to prevent attacks on media personnel. Freelance defence analyst Namal Perera escaped the apparent abduction attempt, but had to be hospitalised after being assaulted with iron bars and sticks. Perera has since left the island on a previously arranged media training programme in Sweden. High Commission political officer Mahendra Ratnaweera suffered head injuries, but has been released from hospital. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said the attack was "yet another example of the violence and intimidation aimed at journalists in Sri Lanka." Newspaper publishers have offered a reward of Rs5m ($46,000) for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the attack. Meanwhile, Sri Lankan troops have killed another 19 Tamil Tiger rebels and lost two of their own soldiers in fresh fighting in the island's north, the Defence Ministry said Sunday. Troops killed the 19 members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and wounded 27 others in the districts of Vavuniya, Mannar, Mullaitivu and Jaffna on Saturday, the Ministry said. A total of 13 government soldiers were also wounded in Saturday's clashes. There was no immediate word from the LTTE on the latest violence. However, the Tigers released pictures of their elusive leader Velupillai Prabhakaran commemorating his suicide bombers on the 21st anniversary of the first suicide attack by his guerrillas. The Tigers have deployed over 250 suicide bombers, known as Black Tigers, to carry out devastating attacks since July 1987. The defence ministry's latest claims of casualties takes the number of rebels reported killed by government troops since the beginning of the year to 4,755 against the loss of 427 soldiers. Government figures cannot be independently verified as journalists are barred from visiting frontline areas. Sri Lanka has been wracked by civil war for more than three decades. The rebels are fighting for an independent homeland for minority Tamils on the Sinhalese-majority island.