Reporter arrested for plundering computers, temple artifacts in Vanni

[TamilNet, Saturday, 28 March 2009, 12:27 GMT]
A Sinhala TV reporter attached to the state-run Rupavahini Corporation and posted to cover the conflict in the Vanni was arrested on Thursday along with five laptops and ten digital cameras allegedly plundered from Tamil Tiger bases, police confirmed. Several artifacts allegedly removed from Hindu temples were also found on his possession, according to the investigators.

The reporter, identified as Deshapremi Saman Kumara Ramawickrama, was taken from a police check point in Medawachiya some 260 kilometres north of the capital Colombo while travelling in a vehicle provided the television station, investigators said.

Sources close to the investigation said that immediately after the arrest there was a covert attempt by interested persons to cover up the issue.

The police were given orders to detain the goods but release the reporter. The police were also told not to record any thing on their books, the sources said.

The arrest was made after the reporter was returning to the capital Colombo.

Independent journalists are barred from covering the conflict zone. The Government has only allowed state-owned television and radio organizations into the area.


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