SLA censors Heroes' Day coverage

[TamilNet, Monday, 06 November 2006, 21:25 GMT]
"It is an outright violation of the freedom of press by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) 512nd Division high officials to threaten the Editors of the Jaffna peninsula Tamil dailies not to publish any news related to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), and not to publish LTTE leader Pirabakaran's photo or his annual November Heroes' Day message," S. Gajendran, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian for Jaffna district, told TamilNet Monday.

Mr. Selvarajah Gajendran
TNA Jaffna MP Mr. Selvarajah Gajendran
"The Editors of Uthayn, Yarl Thinakural and Valampuri had been summoned by the SLA high officials to their offices in Gnanam Hotel and Subash Hotel in Jaffna Monday and were threatened not to publish any news about the LTTE or the coming National Heroes' Day on November 27," the MP said.

"The SLA officials have also reprimanded the editors for publishing stories highlighting the current humanitarian crisis in the Jaffna peninsula caused by the undeclared economic embargo on the peninsula by the SLA, and the closure of the A9 route preventing the flow of essentials like food, medicine and fuel.

"Though the editors had claimed that they were carrying out their journalistic responsibilites on the prevailing shortage of essential items, the SLA official had maintained that there was no such shortage in the Jaffna peninsula," Gajendran said.

"This is an attempt by the SLA to hide the current state of affairs in the peninsula to people in the rest of the country and the world," accused Gajendran.

"I have informed of this violation of the freedom of the press to people and institutions concerned with Press Freedom and had requested the Sri Lanka Government (GoSL) to conduct immediate inquires into the act of the SLA officials in Jaffna," said the TNA parliamentarian.


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