Jaffna journalists protest against attack
[TamilNet, Sunday, 12 October 2003, 19:54 GMT]
Journalists in Jaffna protested Sunday against the Sri
Lankan armed forces for attacking four reporters in
the northern peninsula Saturday night. "This attack
calls the bluff that Tamil journalists face no
problems now in the Sri Lankan government controlled
areas of the northeast", said Mr. Velupillai
Thavachelvam, the President of the Jaffna Journalistsí
Association, addressing the protesting journalists.
"Sri Lankan armed forces attacked Jaffna journalists
in Manipay and Nelliyadi during the cease fire. A
Tamil journalist's home was bombed in Batticaloa. No
one has been brought to book. A commission of inquiry
came and went. That was all. We cannot trust the
government in this matter. Saturday nightís incident
shows that we remain vulnerable as always. Who will
guarantee our safety? The state can unleash the
Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) on us again, as it
still remains firmly rooted in Sri Lankaís statute
book. It hangs like Damocles Sword over us Tamil
journalists", he said.
He deplored that the media watchdog, Reporters Sans
Frontiers, had recently said that the climate has
improved for journalists in the northeast.
The protesting journalists demanded that the Sri Lanka
armyís Jaffna security forces commander and Police
chief should be held responsible for the attacks and
transferred from Jaffna.
The editors of the Jaffna dailies Uthayan, Valampuri
and Thinakkural took part in the protest Monday
morning at Temple Road near the Nallur Kovil in the
Mr. Thavachelvam handed over a memorandum to Carina
Ericsson, head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission in
Jaffna following the one-hour protest.