TID seeks permission to seal Tissainayagam's house

[TamilNet, Sunday, 30 March 2008, 12:20 GMT]
The Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) of the Sri Lanka Police on Friday filed a motion in the Colombo Chief Magistrate's Court seeking an order to seal the house of J.S.Tissanayagam a senior journalist and Sunday Times columnist now under detention since his arrest on March 6, legal sources said. Meanwhile, Free Media Movement (FMM), joined by four other journalists associations, embarked on a world-wide campaign to pressure Colombo to free the journalist who has been held in detention for more than three weeks without charges.

Journalist Tissainayagam
Poster released by Journalist Associations calling for Tissainayagam's release
TID said in the filed motion that the detectives need to carry out search when necessary, and therefore, and requested the court to issue an order to seal the house, legal sources said.

The house of the journalist was searched soon after his arrest and detention.

Meanwhile, the inquiry into the Fundamental Rights violation petition filed by journalist Tissanayagam challenging the legality of his arrest and detention has been fixed for March 31 Monday.

The FR petition was mentioned on Thursday before a three member bench of the Supreme Court comprised Justices Asoka de Silva, Nimal Dissanayake and Raja Fernando. Counsel for the petitioner, in his submission, cited an earlier order of the Chief Justice in which he ruled that even persons detained by the TID could not be held indefinitely, and begged for his release, legal sources said.

The Judges said that the FR petition could be taken up on Monday in the presence of the Chief Justice as the latter had made the earlier order pertaining to the detention of Tamils, legal sources said.

Defense Counsel brought to the notice of the court that the State Counsel had failed to produce any detention order in relation to the petitioner's arrest even though the court had asked for such proof. Hence the court directed the State Counsel to produce such detention order on the next date (Monday).

President's Counsel Romesh de Silva with J.C.Weliamunna and M.A.Sumenthiran appeared for the petitioner.


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