Jaffna Journalists stage sit-in protest over Manipay attack
[TamilNet, Monday, 17 February 2003, 15:25 GMT]
The Jaffna Journalist Association (JJA) Monday held a protest demonstration outside the office of the District Information Office in the Jaffna district secretariat condemning the attack on two journalists at Manipay by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers last Wednesday. Members of the JJA with black bands and covered their mouths with black clothes participated in the demonstration which commenced Monday morning and concluded in the afternoon, sources said.
A JJA representative later handed over a memorandum to the Jaffna Government Agent (GA), Mr. S. Patmanathan, to be sent to the Media Minister Mr.Imtiaz Bakeer Markar, sources said.
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians A.Vinayagamoorthy, G.G.Gajednrakumar, Mavai
Senathiraja and M.K.Sivajilingam also participated in the demonstration by the JJA.
Text of the memorandum follows:
Tamil journalists faced attacks under the past Peoples Alliance (PA) regime. We are alarmed to note that attacks on Tamil journalists continue unabated even under the present United National Front (UNF) government.
Tamil journalists were assaulted and threatened at Nelliady in Jaffna, Valaichchenai in Batticaloa and the lately in Manipay. As your ministry has not taken steps to bring the culprits to book we are forced to launch this token non-violent struggle to voice our protest.
We submit the following demands for necessary action to protect all SriLankan journalists irrespective of whether they are Tamil, Muslim or Sinhalese:
- Ensure protection to Tamil journalists and to take action against those who obstruct the journalists in performing their duties.
- Take immediate steps to appoint an independent commission to inquire into the assaults on TamilNet correspondent Mr.Jeyananadamoorthy in Valaichchenai, IBC correspondent Mr.Thavachelvan at Nelliyady and Thinakural correspondent Mr.Sivapalan and Namathu Eelandau correspondent Manohararajah at Manipay
and to pay compensation to the affected journalists from your Ministry.
- All facilities provided to journalists in the south of the island should be provided to journalists in Jaffna
- We will be forced to launch a continuous non-violent struggle against attacks on journalists if the Media Ministry fails to take action to fulfill our demands.