SL military operatives threaten distributors of Tamil weekly

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 11 March 2015, 23:14 GMT]
While the Sri Lankan State is waging a propaganda that it has allowed free media operations in the island, the SL military intelligence of Maithiripala Sirisena's regime has silently stepped up monitoring and harassment on the Tamil weekly, Ithu Nam Theasam, a pro TNPF paper which has gained popularity among the serious Tamil readers in the recent times, especially after the regime change. Three operatives, who came in two motorbikes were following the distributor of Ithu Nam Theasam at Sivanakar in Ki'linochchi on Tuesday. The squad stopped the distributor at a place where there was no civilian witnesses and seized the papers from him issuing a threat on his life, the distributor told media.

“You will be burnt to ashes together with these papers if you continued to distribute this paper,” was the message of the squad, the distributor who did not wish to be named due to security reasons, told media.

The editorial representatives of the paper had recently met the visiting delegation of International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and explained the harassments it was facing both under the regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa and Maithiripala Sirisena.

The distributors of the paper were specifically targeted earlier under Rajapaksa's regime. The SL military had instructed that anyone distributing the paper should first hand over a copy at SL military camps in Vanni before they distribute the paper to the public.

The SL military had also threatened the press owners used by the paper in Jaffna in the past.

The paper carries views critical of the Colombo regime and Sumanthiran-Sampanthan polity, which has opted to collaborate with the new regime.

The latest harassment was not an isolated case, according to the editorial board of the paper.

The assault on the distributor of the paper also indicated that the occupying SL military intelligence is getting involved in the upcoming election campaign, political observers in Ki'linochchi said.


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