Police yet to investigate attack on home says Batticaloa journalist

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 04 June 2003, 10:37 GMT]
“The Sri Lanka Police have not taken any action so far to investigate the grenade attack on my house in Valaichenai on Jan. 7 this year. I lodged a complaint at the Valaichenai Police station on the morning after the attack, in which an attempt was also made to set fire to my house”, said Mr. Senathirajah Jeyananthamoorthy, a leading Tamil journalist in the east giving evidence before a commission inquiring into attacks on media persons in the northeast Wednesday.

The special committee appointed by Sri Lanka’s Media and Defence Ministries heard the evidence of Mr. Jeyananthamoorthy during its sittings in Jaffna town Wednesday.

The committee was sent to the north following representations by the Jaffna Journalists’ Association (JJA) urging Colombo to investigate and put an end to attacks on Tamil media personnel in the northeast.

Continuing his evidence, Mr. Jeyananthamoorthy said: “No one can enter the Valaichenai bazaar at night without the knowledge of the Sri Lanka army units that patrol area. And the persons who lobbed a grenade on my house couldn’t have ever slipped back through the bazaar following the explosion because of the army patrols and the proximity of the fisheries harbour military camp. An Islamic extremist group threatened me on several occasions in before this incident”.

“Many Muslim home guards in the Valaichenai-Oddamavadi area who were involved in harassing and killing Tamils were absorbed into the army and Police. I feel that there might be anger towards me in these quarters over a series of articles about destroyed Tamil villages I have been writing to the press. Some of these villages such as Miravodai and Thiraikkerni were subjected to atrocities by Muslim home guards. I exposed the destruction and massacres that they perpetrated. ”

“I have also been threatened by Sri Lanka army personnel in the course of carrying out my duties as a journalist”, Mr. Jeyananthamoorthy told the committee in his evidence.

The Committee is chaired by Mr. Oliver B Weerasena.

Mr. Jeyananthamoorthy queried the committee whether it could take any tangible action to investigate and bring to book the perpetrators of attacks on Tamil journalists.

Members of the committee, however, informed him that they could only report to the Ministries which appointed them and that it is up to the higher authorities to take further action.

 

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