SLTMA demands protection for Tamil media persons

[TamilNet, Sunday, 08 January 2006, 00:24 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance (SLTMA) has requested the Media Minister Mr.Anura Priyadarshana Yapa to take immediate steps to stop harassment of Tamil media institutions and Tamil media persons by government armed forces. SLTMA in its letter to the Media Minister listed several incidents where members of armed forces have subjected Tamil media persons and institutions with unwanted inquiries and harassment, sources said.

Excerpts of the letter follow:

"In connection with the publication of photographs regarding the arrest and detention of Tamil residents in Wellawatte Police Station in Colombo in the Sunday issue of Veerakesari of January 1st, its senior photographer Mr. Joy Jeyakumar was summoned to the office of the Colombo CID on January 5th for inquiry. He was questioned by CID officials from 10.30 a.m. till 11 a.m. whether the photographs published were taken by him or supplied by others. The SLTMA considers the inquiry an intimidation to media personnel.

"We consider the death threat on the Chairman of the Maharaja Organisation as intimidation of the Tamil media. Jaffna office of the Thinakkural newspaper was subjected to search by the State armed forces on January 1. Few weeks ago another Jaffna Tamil daily "Namathu Eelanadu" was also subjected to search by the armed forces. State armed forces are conducting search operations on Jaffna Tamil dailies deliberately.

"Tamil media persons and Tamil media institutions are frequently subjected to search operation and inquiries. The SLTM has complained to Media Ministry several times but no action has been taken on the complaints. The SLTMA expresses its concern over the delay in this regard," the letter to the Minister Yapa said.


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