Army officials' committee holds inquiry into Tamil journalist's complaint

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 17 August 2004, 13:39 GMT]
A three-member committee comprising military officials of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) commenced inquiry Tuesday into the complaint made by journalist Mr.Velupillai Thavachelvam that he had been threatened with death by a military officer when he was covering the visit of a leading Buddhist prelate to Jaffna during the early part of this year.

"I have no faith in the inquiry, as the high command of the SLA has constituted the committee with army officials to inquire into a complaint against a fellow official," said Mr.Thavachelvam in his evidence.

Mr.Thavachelvam further said holding the inquiry in Sinhala language is a violation his fundamental rights and requested that the inquiry should be conducted in Tamil, sources said.

He added that SLA could not plead ignorant for the failure to identify the army official accused in the complaint, sources said.

Another journalist who was at the scene of incident also gave evidence.

The Committee of Inquiry comprised Colonel Jayawardene (Chairman), Major Mahinda and Lieutenant Ratnayake. Jaffna regional co-ordinator of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka Mr.Ruwan Chandrasekara and another official Mr.M.Feroz were present at the inquiry as an observer, sources said.

The Chairman of the Committee of Inquiry said at the commencement of the inquiry that impartial inquiry will be conducted into the complaint and a report would be submitted to the Defense Ministry in due course, sources said.

Mr. Thavachelvam is a leading local correspondent for Sri Lankan and international Tamil media.

 

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