Sunday Leader closed down

[TamilNet, Monday, 22 May 2000, 13:29 GMT]
The Sunday Leader, one of Sri Lanka's main newspapers was closed down by the government Monday, media sources told TamilNet by telephone. No reason had been given the sources said. The sources quoted Sunday Leader staff as speculating the move was linked to an article by the paper's defence correspondent published in its latest issue.

The article, titled "Palaly not under attack", had circumvented the government's censorship laws by publishing a full account of the ongoing battles in the northern Jaffna peninsula, but negating each sentence as saying it had "not" happened.

The sources also noted that the pro-opposition paper has been critical of the ruling People's Alliance for a considerable period.

The Sunday Leader is the second publication to be shut down under the new powers the government gave itself last month.

The only Tamil daily published in Jaffna was closed down last week after the Sri Lankan military reprimanded the Uthayan paper's assistant general manager and associate editor C.N.Vithiyatharan for publishing a story about the Sri Lankan President's meeting with a visiting Indian Air Force commander.

The power to shut down news papers and printing presses is granted under section 14 of Sri Lanka's Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions and Powers) Regulation No.1 of 2000 promulgated under section 5 of the Public Security Ordinance.

 

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