Army's Intimidation of Tamil journalists condemned

[TamilNet, Friday, 20 July 2001, 22:50 GMT]
Aiyathurai Nadesan, a prize winning Tamil journalist in the eastern Town of Batticaloa, was threatened by the coordinating officer of the Sri Lanka Army's 23-3 brigade last week. The Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance (SLTMA) and the Eastern Lanka Journalists' Association (ELJA) issued statements Friday condemning the intimidation.

Aiyathurai Nadesan. (Photo:TamilNet)
The SLA officer warned the journalist that he would be arrested under the prevention of terrorism act (PTA) for his writings against the government and the security forces.

The SLA officer further reminded Mr.Nadesan that hundreds of Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) activists were shot and killed for putting posters against the government.

Mr. Nadesan was also photographed in different angles by the Security forces. The SLTMA considers these actions as a threat to his life.

"The SLTMA are surprised and concerned that a warning of this nature was issued on the same day that the government announced the relaxation of the restrictions placed on journalists from entering areas outside security forces control," the statement from the SLTMA said. The ELJA issued a similar statement.

Mr. Nadesan is the Vice-President of the SLTMA. He received the best Journalist award for 2000, from the Editors Guild.

Chief Editor Mr. S.M. Gopalaratnam and his deputy Mr. K. Rushangan of the only daily published in Batticaloa, were also summoned by the same Officer a few days ago and warned, according to the Eastern Lanka Journalists' Association.


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