Road accidents involving occupying military escalate, jouranlists threatened

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 13 April 2016, 17:10 GMT]
The increasing accidents and aggressive behaviour by the occupying Sinhala military is on the increase as witnessed this week in two accidents in Poonakari in the North and in Trincomalee. A 59-year-old Tamil mother and her 33-year-old daughter were killed Monday night near Vigneswara College in Trincomalee city when a speeding military vehicle crashed on their autorickshaw. The driver and another 33-year-old woman were rushed to hospital. At Poonakari in Ki'linochci district, a 23-year-old Sri Lanka Army driver of a military water bowser was killed and a civilian driver of a dump truck (Tipper) sustained injuries in the accident on Tuesday night.

Ms Vasuki (59) and Ms Sivatharani (33) from Chaampal-theevu in Trincomalee were the victims slain in the accident at Trincomalee.

The speeding SL military vehicle disappeared into darkness after hitting the autorickshaw.

SL Police in Trincomalee told media on Tuesday that they had arrested the driver of the military vehicle at the military camp, 90 minutes after the accident. The accident occurred around 10:00 p.m.

In the meantime, a Tamil journalist who went to cover the accident at Poonakari on Tuesday night around 9:45 p.m. was intimidated and threatened by a Sri Lanka Army ‘Colonel’ in civil.

The accident took place near Kudamu'rippu Bridge located on Paranthan-Poonakari Road.

The SL military water-bowser was making a sudden turn without any signals into a side lane while the Tipper vehicle was speeding from behind.

After the freelance journalist S.N. Nibojan took photographs, an SLA man claiming as the area commander with a colonel rank, grabbed his camera despite the journalist documenting his press identity.

The SLA man was intimidating the young Tamil journalist saying it was the military that decided what to be reported and not and he grabbed the camera from the reporter and deleted the photos taken by the journalist. When the journalist questioned the military man to document his military identity and rank, the SLA man hit the camera on the ground damaging the lens of the camera, the journalist has complained.

Initially, the SL Police in Ki'linochchi was reluctant to register the complaint. But, later the complaint was ‘forwarded’ to Poonakari, according to the SL Police.

Another Tamil journalist from Ki'linochchi, Parasivan Tharmalingam (Siva), was subjected to similar threats a few days ago on 05 April by a group of Sinhalese who were engaged in illegal sand scooping to build a hotel for a Sinhala businessman in the middle of agricultural land.

The group threatened the jouranlist stating that they were the powerful ones in Ki'linochhi.

The SL Police at Ki'linochchi initially refused to register the complaint from the journalist. But, later resorted to compromising solution between the parties.

K. Thirulogamoorthy and M. Thamilchelvan, the journalists representing Ki’linochchi Press Club have condemned the attitude of the SL Police in a statement issued on 06 April.


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