Danish media consultant refused entry into Kaarainakar by SLN
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 25 February 2009, 16:54 GMT]
Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) did not permit Dr. Henrik Grunnet, the media consultant of the Media Research and Training Centre (MRTC) affiliated to Jaffna University to attend an introductory event of a media course that was to be inaugurated Wednesday at Kaarainakar R. Thiyagarajah Maththiya Viththiyaalayam in his official capacity and as a guest of honour, sources close to MRTC said. Vice-chancellor emeritus of Jaffna University and the Director of MRTC, Prof. Pon. Balasuntharampillai, the chief guest of the event, had accompanied Dr. Henrik Grunnet to Ponnaalai SLN at the entrance to Kaarainakar where Grunnet was sent back by the SLN.
Though Dr. Henrik Grunnet has been serving in Jaffna at MRTC with the permission from the Sri Lanka Ministry of Defence for a long time he was not allowed to enter Kaarainakar, an islet of Jaffna held by SLN.
Prof. Balasuntharampillai and Henrik Grunnet had tried to explain the motive of their visit to the event to the SLN soldiers manning Ponnaalai check post for nearly two hours but they had refused permission to the Danish consultant to enter Kaarainakar.
The Director of MRTC, Pon. Balasuntharampillai had earlier notified the SLA authorities in Palaali and Jaffna about Dr. Henrik Grnnet’s official visit to the Wednesday event in Kaarainakar and he being refused entry has deeply grieved the director, the sources said.
SLN which holds Kaarainakar under its tight control restricting the free movement of the residents does not allow local and international humanitarian organizations in Jaffna to enter any of the islets of Jaffna, NGO sources in Jaffna said.
The representatives of the above organizations are very much reluctant to go the islets of Jaffna due to the SLN restriction and harassment and consequently the projects of development and assistance begun by them in the islets have been abandoned, the sources added.