"White van" men visit Tamil Editor's residence

[TamilNet, Friday, 22 June 2007, 04:15 GMT]
A group of unknown men in a White van at 11:30 a.m Wednesday entered the Hamdan Lane, Wellawatte apartment building of N. Vidyadaran, editor of Colombo-based Tamil daily Sudar Oli, and had harassed the security guard at the reception after being told that Mr Vidyadaran was not in his apartment. The men had inspected the editor's car, threatened the guard, and left the building, Vidyadaran told TamilNet. He is also the General manager and Deputy Editor of Jaffna based daily Uthayan.

The Security Guard had requested the men to document their identity and reason for the visit when the men had refused and threatened the guard.

Vidyadaran told TamilNet that as soon as he came back to his residence from Sudar Oli offices, he contacted Upcountry Peoples Front (UPF) Deputy Vocational and Technical Training Minister, P. Radhakrishnan and informed him of the incident.

A complaint was lodged with the Committee to investigate disappearances set up by the Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse. Vidyadaran said, on Thursday, four members of the Committee, Ministers Rajitha Senaratne, K. Abdul Baiz, and P. Radhakrishnan and Oppostion Leader at Coombo Municipal Council, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, visited him to obtain details of the incident and the threat.

Committee appointed by the SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa meets Chudar O'li editor N. Vidyadaran
Committee appointed by the SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa meets Sudar Oli editor N. Vidyadaran


A fifth member of the Committee, SL Minister of Transport, Dullas Alahaperuma, who couldn't join the others, later phoned Vidyadaran and expressed the Committee's intention to follow-up on identifying the culprits.

The IGP was to be apprised of the details although, the Committee has told Sudar Oli editor.

Journalists and Editors of Tamil dailies, especially Uthayan, have been under threat after the Rajapakse administration came into power.

Mr. Subramaniyam Sugirdharajan who worked as Freelance journalist in Tamil daily ‘Sudar Oli’ was shot dead by an un unidentified gunman on 24 January 2006.

In May 2006, five armed paramilitary gunmen entered Uthayan offices in Jaffna and shot dead Marketing Manger, Bastian George Sagayathas (Suresh), 37, and Rajaratnam Ranjith, 25. S. Uthayakumar and N. Thayakaran, two staffers at the office were injured in the attack.

Sathasivam Baskaran, 44, one of the newspaper's drivers, was killed at the wheel of a delivery truck on 15 August.

An arson attack on the newspaper's printing press on 23 August caused damages estimated at 22,000 euros.


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