SLA threatens Jaffna media to censor news of student abductions

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 09 May 2007, 02:03 GMT]
"I strongly condemn the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) personnel intimidating the Jaffna media not to publish any news of the student agitation calling for the immediate release of the four students. This is a gross violation of the freedom of the press," S. Gajenthiran, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Jaffna parliamentarian said.

"The SLA again intimidating media persons after the recent killing of journalist Selvarajah Rajitharan is highly deplorable," the MP added.

Jaffna Hindu College Principal and staff requested the immediate release of the four high school students abducted Friday in a public appeal.

The fear and unrest among the students prevent them from attending schools and concentrating on their studies, the appeal said.

Jaffna peninsula Tamil Students' Union, Private Education Institutions Union, Vadama'raadchchi Public Organizations Union and Jaffna University Student Union were among the several groups demanding the immediate release of the abducted students.

The protesting organizations said that failure to free the students will result in a public agitation beginning Wednesday and spreading to the entire Jaffna peninsula.

The protest demonstration of Jaffna University Student Union launched Monday continued on Tuesday, sources in Jaffna said.

Only a tenth of the total 3000 students of Jaffna Hindu College attended school Tuesday, mainly because the parents were afraid of the safety of their children.

The heavy presence of SLA armed troopers near the schools has aggravated the already tense atmosphere, the parents said.

Though many schools in Jaffna had a low student turnout Tuesday, some schools did function due to the strict directives of the SLA which had wanted to prevent students from agitating against the abduction, according to Jaffna parents.


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