Bishop refutes story, TamilNet responds

[TamilNet, Friday, 18 May 2007, 12:23 GMT]
Jaffna Bishop Rt. Rev. Thomas Savundaranayagam, in a letter to Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Jaffna Commander Maj. Gen. G. A. Chandrasiri, has denied speaking to TamilNet. TamilNet story was based on verified information from other sources and TamilNet stands by its story. TamilNet did not indicate that Bishop talked to TamilNet directly. However, TamilNet has made changes to the title of the story, to remove any mistaken perception that the story was based on direct communication with the Bishop.

The full text of the letter written by the Bishop to Jaffna Commander follows:

“I am writing to you regarding the news item that appeared in the “Tamil Net” on 17th May 2007. The entire news item is said to have been given by the Bishop of Jaffna Rt. Rev. Dr. Thomas Savundaranayagam.

After my return from Palaali I had not spoken to any news media. Hence I deny totally the report ascribed to me by the “Tamil Net”.

This unfortunate report in much regretted. Thank you and God bless you.”

TamilNet wishes to point out that residents in Jaffna district are living in an open prison where abductions, torture and killing have become rampant, and the counter insurgency campaign by the SLA has reached a stage where no private citizen's life is safe.

In this climate of fear, TamilNet understands the reasons for the letter from Bishop who would be under tremendous pressure not to criticize the military.

While we regret the predicament in which we have placed the Bishop, TamiNet stands fully by its story, which was filed from the information from several sources and after verifying the details from our sources.


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