Jaffna journalists protest against attack

[TamilNet, Sunday, 12 October 2003, 19:54 GMT]
Journalists in Jaffna protested Sunday against the Sri Lankan armed forces for attacking four reporters in the northern peninsula Saturday night. "This attack calls the bluff that Tamil journalists face no problems now in the Sri Lankan government controlled areas of the northeast", said Mr. Velupillai Thavachelvam, the President of the Jaffna Journalistsí Association, addressing the protesting journalists.

"Sri Lankan armed forces attacked Jaffna journalists in Manipay and Nelliyadi during the cease fire. A Tamil journalist's home was bombed in Batticaloa. No one has been brought to book. A commission of inquiry came and went. That was all. We cannot trust the government in this matter. Saturday nightís incident shows that we remain vulnerable as always. Who will guarantee our safety? The state can unleash the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) on us again, as it still remains firmly rooted in Sri Lankaís statute book. It hangs like Damocles Sword over us Tamil journalists", he said.

Journalists in Jaffna Protest against attacks


He deplored that the media watchdog, Reporters Sans Frontiers, had recently said that the climate has improved for journalists in the northeast.

The protesting journalists demanded that the Sri Lanka armyís Jaffna security forces commander and Police chief should be held responsible for the attacks and transferred from Jaffna.

The editors of the Jaffna dailies Uthayan, Valampuri and Thinakkural took part in the protest Monday morning at Temple Road near the Nallur Kovil in the northern town.

Mr. Thavachelvam handed over a memorandum to Carina Ericsson, head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission in Jaffna following the one-hour protest.

Journalists in Jaffna Protest against attacks

 

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