Eastern Media Associations condemn SLA attack on Northern journalists

[TamilNet, Saturday, 15 February 2003, 16:40 GMT]
District Media Associations in Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampara in the eastern province have issued statements condemning the attack on two Tamil journalists, Mr.S.Sivabalan (Thinakural) and Mr.S.Manoharan (Eelanadu) at Manipay in Jaffna district by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in which LTTE women cadres and members of public were also assaulted, sources said.

The Trincomalee District Media Association issued a statement Saturday which severely condemned the attack on Jaffna journalists and also requested the ministers concerned to take immediate steps against errant security personnel.

" The government says that it has restored full press freedom. But at the same time the soldiers of the SLA assaulted two Tamil journalists in Jaffna even after they showed their media accreditation cards to prove their identity.

"The right of journalists to rush to the scene where an incident takes place to collect information and photographs should be safeguarded at any cost and that right had been deprived to journalists in Jaffna on the day of Manipay attack. The Prime Minister, Defense Minister and Media Minister should take prompt steps to safeguards the interests of journalists," the statement said.

The East Lanka Journalists Association based in Batticaloa said in a statement that this is not the first time Tamil journalists are attacked in northeast province. The assault on journalists at Manipay should be considered by the authorities concerned as a serious violation of human rights. The errant security personnel should be brought to book through law courts of the country.

"Although the government says the freedom of journalists has been restored, the attack on Tamil journalists by the State armed forces continues unabated in the northeast province," said South East Journalists Association based in Amparai in a statement condemning the Manipay attack.

During war time Tamil journalists faced serious threat to their lives and properties. Now under the peaceful environment too Tamil journalists in northeast are harassed and threatened by the armed forces, added the statement.


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