SLA assures protection to Jaffna journalists

[TamilNet, Sunday, 20 March 2005, 17:41 GMT]
Major General Sunil Tennekon, Jaffna area commander of the Sri Lanka Army Sunday assured the Jaffna media personnel that his command is prepared to provide security to them and their equipments when they discharge their duties on the ground. He held a wide-ranging discussion, which lasted for about an hour with a delegation of Jaffna District Media Association (JDMA) at the office of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) following allegations that soldiers had attacked journalists in Jaffna in recent times when they were performing their duties.

JDMA, SLA, SLMM meet
JDMA, SLA, SLMM meet
Mr.S.Kathirgamathamby, President of the JDMA led the delegation. The discussion was held in a cordial atmosphere in the presence of monitors of the SLMM located in Jaffna.Major Wanigasuriya of the Jaffna District Civil Office associated with Major General Sunil Tennekon, sources said.

JDMA delegation brought to the notice of Major General Sunil Tennekon the recent attack on several journalists in Jaffna town by army personnel. " Media personnel are attacked by army soldiers when they discharge their duties even during the ceasefire period. Though the former Jaffna area commander Major General Sarath Fonseka promised that such assault on media personnel would not take place, media personnel are still being intimidated and attacked by government troops and their electronic and photographic equipments are damaged," Mr.Kathirgamathamby complained during the discussion, sources said.

JDMA delegation pointed out in recent times a journalist of the State controlled newspaper was assaulted by soldiers even after he showed his media accreditation card issued by the Media Ministry and the vehicles belonged to two other journalists were also damaged.

Major General Sunil Tennekon assured that he would see in future that no such attack on journalists take place. He pointed out that recent incidents that had taken place in Jaffna town had disrupted the normal life. In such a situation it is very difficult to identify journalists among the crowd. He added his command would contact editors of newspapers published in the Jaffna district to formulate a scheme to provide security to journalists, sources said.

 

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