Tamil journalist in Colombo assaulted by JVP, arrested under ER
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 23 August 2005, 16:34 GMT]
Mr.Yathurshan Premachchandran, a photojournalist of Colombo Tamil daily "Sudar Oli" was handed over to the Fort Police in Colombo after being assaulted by a group of JVP activists Tuesday afternoon around 4:00 p.m. The journalist was assisting his senior journalist in covering a JVP demonstration held in front of Fort Railway Station. Mr. Premachandran has complained that he was also attacked by the Police, according to media sources. The Fort Police has handed over the journalist to the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) alleging him to be a member of the Liberation Tigers, sources added.
Sudar Oli authorities immediately made representation to the Fort Police to release Mr.Yathurshan Premachchandran, as he has been a trainee who accompanied a senior journalist of their institution to this event, media sources said.
However, the Fort Police officials are reported to have told Sudar Oli authorities that Mr.Premachchandran has been handed over to the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) of the Sri Lankan Police for further interrogation under the Emergency Regulations now in force as they suspected him a member of the LTTE.
Free Media Movement (FMM) spokesman Mr. Sunanda Desapriya told TamilNet that his organisation strongly condemned the JVP's attack on the journalist.
Later, a press release issued by FMM said: "Free Media Movement strongly condemns this undemocratic behavior of JVP supporters as well as the incessant hate speeches made by the party leaders against political opponents at public rallies."
"This is not the behavior of a democratic political party but of an extremist party which does not accept diversity," the press release added.