Journalists assaulted at slain Intelligence officers house

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 01 November 2005, 11:17 GMT]
Ms. Ranee Mohamed, a feature editor and Mr. Berty Mendis, a photographer at the English weekly Sunday Leader in Colombo, were assaulted by a group of men armed with batons and swords Tuesday morning at the residence of the slain Sri Lankan senior Intelligence officer, Lt. Col. Tuwan Rizwi Meedin, in Kiribathgoda in Colombo when they went to obtain interviews from Meedin's family members, media sources in Colombo said. The attackers had alleged that the Sunday Leader was supporting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

The attackers removed the mobile phones, camera equipment and other personal belongings of the journalists and started to attack them.

However, the journalists managed to escape from the residence of the slain Intelligence officer and lodged a complaint at Kiribathgoda Police.

Later, a person turned up at the Kiribathgoda Police station and handed over the removed items to the police, sources added.

Lt. Col. Tuwan Rizvi Meedin, a high ranking senior intelligence officer attached to Colombo's Second Army Intelligence Unit, was shot and killed inside his car Saturday night near his residence in Kiribathgoda.

Police sources said Tuesday that the shots were fired by an assasin who was inside Meedin's car and that the Police were invstigating two Sinhala persons alleging that the suspects were hired by the LTTE to assasinate the Sri Lankan Intelligence officer.

Features Editor Ranee Mohamed had won the award for "Earning the Appreciation of Peers and Public" five times at the annual Journalism Awards of Excellence events organised by the Editors' Guild of Sri Lanka.

The Sunday Leader, often labelled as a pro-UNP paper in Colombo media, has been a critical voice towards the governments in Colombo from the time the paper started publication in the mid 90s.

On October 17, a group of seven unidentified men, armed with batons and swords, entered the printing press of the Sunday Leader and threatened the employees and set fire to bundles of papers.

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