Jaffna journalists apprise media's plight to visiting Rights Group

[TamilNet, Thursday, 21 June 2007, 10:10 GMT]
Representatives of the North Ceylon Journalists Association (NCJA), in a meeting with the two visiting representatives of Reporters sans Frontiérs (RSF) and Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) Wednesday that "the Sri Lanka Armed Forces' intimidation and restrictions intensifying each day in the Jaffna peninsula are pushing Jaffna Media services into an abyss of darkness more than ever before." The meeting was held at the Media Research and Training Centre attached to Jaffna University at 2:30 p.m.

NCJA President, C. Kathirgamathamby, vice-president, N. Parameswaran and honorary members I. Satgurunathan and C. Vincent Jeyam represented NCJA at the meeting with the two representatives who are on a mission to meet with journalists and civil society in Jaffna peninsula to discuss issues related to media freedom.

The NCJA said that several media related issues were discussed at the meeting.

  • Sri Lanka Armed Forces' intimidation, attacks and killings targeting media persons and media institutions in the peninsula.
  • Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers and Police searching unannounced, the premises of Yarl Thinakkural Tamil Daily Monday morning.
  • Media persons in Jaffna, in fear of the SL Armed Forces' atrocities let loose on them and their institutions, are leaving the country for good while those who cannot do so continue live in fear.
  • Sri Lanka State's blocking TamilNet website to the public of Sri Lanka.
  • The direct presence and participation of Sri Lanka Armed Force personnel in actions against the media institutions and its people in Jaffna peninsula.

The NCJA representatives, besides highlighting the above, requested the visiting representatives to help redeem their lost Press Freedom and the Freedom of Expression, sources close to NCJA said.

The visiting media representatives are scheduled to visit other Tamil Media Institutions in the peninsula including Uthayan News paper, to meet a wide spectrum of media persons.

The Sri Lanka Army high command and its top officials had declined to meet the visiting representatives, media sources in Jaffna said.


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