SLTMA Condemns SLA attacks on Tamil journalists
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 12 February 2003, 16:30 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance has condemned the attack on two Tamil journalists while on duty by the security forces today at Manipay in Jaffna. It has pointed out to the government that the Tamil journalists being attacked by the security forces is on the increase.
Following is the full text of the statement.
"SLTMA wishes to bring to the notice of the government, that the incidents of Tamil journalists being attacked while on duty by the security forces is on the increase even during the time of the peace process.
Two Tamil journalists who went to cover the incident at Manipay today 12.02.2003 were severely assaulted by the security forces that were sent to control the situation there. The cameras of the journalists were also smashed. SLTMA categorically condemns the attack.
Mr.S.Sivabalan the reporter and a photographer of 'Thinakural' and Mr.S.Manoharan reporter of 'Eelanadu' are the two Tamil journalists who were injured by the assault of the security forces after they identified themselves as journalists. The security forces that manhandled and assaulted them with clubs have snatched the accreditation cards issued to them by the Department of Information. The notebooks of these journalists were torn and thrown away by the forces. Mr.Sivabalan's digital camera has been damaged beyond repair. All this has happened in front of the SLMM officials who were present at the spot and the journalists who were affected have complained immediately to the them.
This and another recent attack on another journalist Mr.Thavachelvam at Nelliyadi in Jaffna have made the Tamil journalists in the country to worry about their safety while on duty. SLTMA wishes to point out that the security forces sent to control troubles should be clearly instructed to behave with journalists.
While we request the government to take appropriate action against persons concerned in this incident, we urge the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Media to take necessary preventive measures to prevent such incidents in the future."