CPJ to honour Tamil journalist Tissainayagam

[TamilNet, Friday, 25 September 2009, 04:17 GMT]
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) will honour J.S. Tissainayagam as well as courageous journalists from Somalia, Tunisia and Azerbaijan with its 2009 International Press Freedom Awards at a ceremony in November. J.S. Tissainayagam was recently sentenced to 20 years in prison. "These are reporters who risk their personal freedom and often their lives to ensure that independent voices resonate within their nations and across the globe," CPJ Board Chairman Paul Steiger said.

"Their fearlessness to report the news in the face of great obstacles is an inspiration to us all" he added.

"These journalists are being honoured not only because they embody what CPJ stands for, but because they have fought against injustice to uphold the values of press freedom," CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said.

"Imprisonment, harassment, and threat of death cannot deter these extraordinary journalists from continuing their work," he further said.

CPJ’s report – ‘J.S. Tissainayagam, Sri Lanka’:

On March 7, 2008, Tissainayagam, editor of news web site OutreachSL and a columnist for the English-language Sri Lankan Sunday Times, went to the offices of the Terrorism Investigation Division to ask about a colleague who had been arrested the day before. He never made it back home.

Tissainayagam, also known as Tissa, was one of the dozens of ethnic Tamil journalists who were swept up during the 26-year-long conflict between the Sinhalese-dominated government and Tamil separatists, which ended this year.

Terrorism Investigation Division officials arrested Tissainayagam and held him without charge for six months. Then in August 2008, he was charged with inciting "communal disharmony," an offense under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, in two articles written nearly three years earlier in a defunct magazine called North Eastern Monthly.

In September 2009, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Local journalists say Tissainayagam wrote political columns about Tamil issues that were frequently critical of the government but not considered partisan to the separatist group the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

U.S. President Barack Obama highlighted Tissainayagam's case during his World Press Freedom Day address in May. (CPJ)


Chronology:

 

Latest 15 Reports
24.08.19 02:22  
Tamil representatives urged to boycott OMP office opening in Jaffna
24.08.19 00:04   Photo
Despite ending Emergency, Sirisena keeps SL military empowered with police powers
23.08.19 07:04  
SL Forest Department remains unmoved by uprooted Tamils’ demand for resettlement
22.08.19 06:50  
40 parents of missing persons die within 915 days of protest
21.08.19 18:17   Photo
‘Death certificates’ issued to 500 of 3,500 Tamils subjected to enforced disappearance in Ampaa'rai
20.08.19 20:23  
Wigneswaran warns of bleak future for Tamils, urges planning for next step
19.08.19 19:23   Photo
IC sheds crocodile tears over Shavendra appointment, US engages with his war-time chief
18.08.19 23:50   Photo
SL TID detains outspoken Tamil doctor at Pazhai hospital
17.08.19 23:08   Photo
SLA Jaffna commander refuses to release Palaali lands at meeting presided by Wickramasinghe
16.08.19 13:25   Photo
SL Archaeology Department resumes plans to construct controversial ‘chaitya’ at Koonith-theevu
15.08.19 21:39  
Wickramasinghe lacks courage to meet protesting Tamil mothers in North
14.08.19 23:31   Photo
2006 genocidal massacre at Chengchoalai campus marked in Vanni, Jaffna amidst PTA-threats
13.08.19 17:45   Photo
Tamil awareness urged on geopolitics-driven genocidal ‘development’ in Mannaar
12.08.19 20:04   Photo
Percival's 19th century Tamil proverb compilations collated and sorted in new publication
11.08.19 20:32   Photo
PTA-threats against constructing memorial arch for student victims of 2006 aerial massacre
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=30315