Protest in Batticaloa over assault on reporter

[TamilNet, Friday, 09 November 2001, 12:13 GMT]
More than 150 journalists, social activists, parents and workers demonstrated in Batticaloa Friday to protest against officials of the Department of Education for assaulting a reporter from the ëThinakathirí, the Tamil daily published in the eastern town.

The reporter, Mr. Lakshmanan Theva Athiran, was abused and assaulted by two officials at the Department of Education in Batticaloa where he had gone on 2 November to investigate allegations about misappropriation of Year Five scholarship funds. The two officials are associates and supporters of a powerful ruling party politician in Batticaloa, media sources in Batticaloa said.

The editor of Thinakathir, Mr. K. Rushangan said that a complaint was lodged with the Police on 2 November, soon after the assault on the reporter and that the Police called for an inquiry on 6 November. However, on the date of the inquiry the Batticaloa Police had told the Thinakathir that they (the Police) could not proceed on the case.

The Thinakathir complained to the Police that Mr. K. Kurukulasinghan Assistant Director of Education and Mr. S. Sivanesarajah, the accountant of the Department of Education in Batticaloa had abused and assaulted its office reporter, Mr. Theva Athiran on 2 November.

Several journalists, the President of the Batticaloa auto rickshaw union and representatives of the TULF, TELO, UNP and the EPDP addressed a protest meet in the town after the demonstration.

(Photo: TamilNet)


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