"UNP,PA assaulted me"-state media reporter
[TamilNet, Friday, 22 September 2000, 21:12 GMT]
A reporter aligned to the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) claimed Friday that he was assaulted by supporters of the People's Alliance and the opposition United National Party in the Muslim town of Kattankudy, five kilometers south of Batticaloa. The SLMC is one of the chief coalition partners of the PA.
The reporter, Mr. T.L Jafferkhan told Police that he was beaten up while talking to PA and UNP activists who were demonstrating against Mr.M.L.A.M Hisbullah, Deputy Minister for Posts and Telecommunications and a senior leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress who had been present this afternoon at a ceremony to declare the precincts of the Periya Pallivaasal mosque in Kattankudy as a sacred area.
However, a UNP official in the town charged that Jafferkhan had got into an altercation with the demonstrators. He said that the reporter who works for the state radio and the state controlled Tamil daily, Thinakaran, is not a bona fide journalist because he is an active supporter of Minister Hisbullah and had worked as a propaganda official for him.
Mr.Hisbullah is from the town of Kattankudy. His opponents charge that he had fraudulently nominated two Tamils without their knowledge or consent as candidates of the National Unity Alliance (NUA), the SLMC front, because he is desperately in need of Tamil votes to offset the growing opposition to him in Kattankudy itself.
"It does not bode well for the SLMC that Muslims in the PA are openly attacking our party" said a colleague of Jafferkhan who was at the scene of the incident today.