Ban on Tamil journalists' awards lifted

[TamilNet, Monday, 17 December 2001, 18:58 GMT]
The ban on conferring the Governor's Award to two Tamil journalists Mr. P. Manickavasagam, President of the Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance and Mr. A. Nadesan, the Tamil daily Virakesari's Batticaloa correspondent, at the annual Northeast Provincial Tamil Literary Festival has been lifted, NE Provincial Council sources said.

The Governor Major General (ret) Asoka Jayawardene has directed the Provincial Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs which is responsible for holding the Tamil Literary Festival to include the names of both journalists in their awards list and to hold the festival as early as possible.

The ban was lifted earlier this month following a report from Sri Lanka's defence ministry that the two journalists were ëinnocent'.

The Provincial Ministry earlier decided to hold the annual provincial literary Tamil festival on September 29,30 and October 01 this year.

But it was postponed at the eleventh hour when the Governor struck off the names of the two Tamil journalists from the award list submitted to him for his approval.

Later it came to light that the names of the journalists were removed from the lists due to pressure exerted on the Governor by the Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) a very loyal and key coalition partner of the ousted PA government. The EPDP had allegedly told the governor that Mr. Manickavasagar and Mr. Nadesan were writing anti-government articles.

According to NEPC sources, the Provincial Tamil Literary Festival is likely to take place during the second week of January, 2002. The exact dates will be decided at a conference, scheduled to be held Tuesday at the Provincial Ministry office in Trincomalee.


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