Tamil editors questioned over Madhu
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 24 November 1999, 22:19 GMT]
The chief editor, Mr.A.Sivanesachelvan, and sub editor, Mr.T.Sivaganeshan, of the widely circulated Tamil language daily, 'Thinakkural', who were taken in for interrogation by officials from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Colombo were released around 10 p.m. this evening after nearly 5 hours of questioning, said sources.
They were questioned about reports which appeared in the paper regarding the shelling of Madhu church on Saturday when at least 37 Tamil refugees were killed and over 60 wounded and those which covered the ongoing fighting in Mannar.
The chief editor A.Sivanesachelvan was taken in for interrogation from his office around 2 p.m. this afternoon. The sub editor T.Sivaganeshan was taken in for questioning around 4pm.
The CID had questioned them about the reports which, according the police, have been published in a way the blaming the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) for the shelling of the church. The reports were in favour of the Liberation Tigers, the police had told them.
They were released after the CID recorded their statements.
P.Chandrasegaran, deputy minister for plantation and housing earlier today send an urgent appeal to the Sri Lanka President for the release of the journalists.
Meanwhile Tamil Parliamentarians Joseph Pararajasingam, Adaikkalanathan (Selvam), T.Chidtharthan, Kumar Ponnampalam were also involved in securing their release, said sources.
The Thinakkural Wednesday reported on the funeral of civilians killed at Madhu, and carried comments by Mr. Joseph Pararajasingam blaming the SLA for the attack. The paper also pointed out that eyewitnesses had also said the SLA had attacked the church.