Jaffna Journalists to boycott Colombo meet

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 13 June 2006, 15:05 GMT]
Members of the Jaffna Journalists Association (JJA) have decided to boycott the North-South bridge of friendship meeting planned by a group of Media Institutions in the South to be held in Colombo on the 21st, 22nd of June, a communique issued by the JJA said Tuesday, sources from Jaffna said.

"The endemic violence against news media professionals in Jaffna district has endangered press freedom in the North. Escalating incidences of violence against Tamil journalists in recent months have forced four journalists to flee Jaffna to seek safety in foreign countries, are forcing many to consider leaving Jaffna, and have created a perpetual sense of fear for lives among the other journalists," the communique said.

"The recent killing of two employees at the Uthayan offices exposes the danger faced by Tamil journalists. The Tamil journalists in Jaffna struggle to continue to safeguard the freedom of press against the threatening presence and dictat of armed militants.

"We have several exchanges and meetings with organizations and rights group in the South, but these have all turned out to be theatrical. None of our complaints has resulted in improvement to the safety of journalists in Jaffna.

"While we have decided to boycott the planned meeting in Colombo, we welcome our Southern Collegues to visit Jaffna anytime to discuss matters that impact press freedom and safety of journalists," the communique said.


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