8 SL media organizations urge President to release journalist Tissanayagam

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 15 September 2009, 08:07 GMT]
Eight media organizations comprising Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association (SLWJA), Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka (EGSL), Free Media Movement (FMM), Sri Lanka Tamil Journalists Alliance (SLTJA), Sri Lanka Muslim Media Forum (SLMMF), Federation of Media Employees’ Trade Union (FMETU), South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) and Sri Lanka Newspaper Publishers’ Association (SLNPA) Monday unanimously decided to request President Mahinda Rajapakse to release senior journalist Mr.J.S.Tissanayagam using his executive powers, sources in Colombo said. Mr.Tissanayagam was recently sentenced to twenty years rigorous imprisonment under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

The media organizations have urged the President Rajapakse to take into consideration the fact that the former LTTE strongmen like Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan and Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan have been granted prominent portfolios in the government and further stated that if the above mentioned individuals could be absorbed into the democratic stream in the country, a journalist who merely voiced what he believes is right should be released as well.

The organizations also stated that the President’s involvement in this matter could be considered as a vital step in creating religious harmony and national co-existence in future Sri Lanka.

Although this is the first time a journalist is sent to jail under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, the prevailing circumstances show that it is not the last, they further stated.

 

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