FMM concerned over search on Jaffna press
[TamilNet, Friday, 16 December 2005, 11:48 GMT]
Expressing concern over the search carried out by the Sri Lanka military at the editorial, administrative and press sections of the Tamil daily Namathu Eelanaadu in Jaffna Thursday, the Free Media Movement (FMM), in a press release issued Thursday, urged "both sides of the conflict to respect the right to freedom of expression and information and not to target media under any situation that may arise out of developing military confrontations."
Full text of the release follows:
Free Media Movement (FMM) is disturbed that government military has searched the editorial, administrative and press sections of the Tamil daily Namathu Eelanaadu in Jaffna today. Namadu Eelanaadu is one of the four daily news papers published in the capital of war ravaged Northern Province, Jaffna.
All four dailies in Jaffna take an editorial line that supports Tamil nationalism, which is the ideological basis of separatist armed struggle in north and east of Sri Lanka.
FMM views this situation as a direct result of escalation of violence in Jaffna peninsula during the last few weeks. Number of solders, militants and civilians has died as a result of these unfortunate developments. FMM fears that media in Jaffna may become a target of escalating violence again as happened many a times before.
In a non- peaceful situation like one prevails in Jaffna today, searching a newspaper office by government military may send a signal that media is under military scrutiny and there by impede the freedom of expression and information.
Media and journalists in Jaffna face challenging situation now in gathering and dissemination of information as war clouds are gathering by every passing day.
FMM urge both sides of the conflict to respect the right to freedom of expression and information and not to target media under any situation that may arise out of developing military confrontations and mistrust between the parties to the conflict.s
Sunanda Deshapriya (+94) 0777 312457
Free Media Movement