Sri Lanka newspaper office set ablaze, fifth media attack this year
(Reuters) – Three armed men set fire to the printing machine of a Tamil-language newspaper that is critical of the Sri Lankan government, forcing the paper to halt printing, the editor said on Saturday.
The attack on the Uthayan newspaper office is the fifth attack on the media since January in Sri Lanka’s former war zone in the north, and the second after the United Nations passed a resolution on March 21 calling on the government to address human rights violations.
“Three men wearing helmets threatened my staff at the printing section and set fire to the main printing machine,” Thevanayagam Premananth, the editor of the Uthayan told Reuters.
Uthayan is the leading newspaper in the island nation’s northern peninsula of Jaffna. It has been critical of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government, and the military.
Last week, an unidentified group of people attacked another Uthayan office, leaving five workers injured.
E. Saravanapavan, a lawmaker with the Tamil National Alliance party, which was linked to the former ethnic Tamil separatist rebels, said the government’s failure to take action after previous attacks has encouraged violence against newspapers in the north. Provincial council polls are due In that region later this year.
Police spokesman Buddhika Siriwardena said an investigation is underway.
Lakshman Hulugalla, director general at the Media Centre for National Security, part of the defence ministry, said initial investigations indicated the attack was an “inside job to tarnish the image of the government.”
No arrests have been made in connection with the previous four attacks.
Political violence has eased since Sri Lanka’s army crushed the Tamil rebellion in 2009, but international human rights groups say attacks on those critical of the government persist. (Reuters)
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The most reliable and authentic crime investigator in Sri Lanka, Director General of the Media Center for National Security (MCNS), Lakshman Hulugalle has said that initial Police investigations into the attack on the Uthayan office in Jaffna had revealed that it was an ‘inside job’.
“There is nothing new in this attack- this is the same tactic used by the LTTE. Initial investigations have revealed that it is an inside job to tarnish the image of the government and the country,” he said.
We should deploy a team from the Bodhu Bala Sena and Ravana Balaya to take over the operations of the Uthayan Newspaper and provide accurate and authentic news to the Tamil speaking citizens in the Northern province.
The asset is a “non-performing” asset maybe not in terms of money but in terms of social and should propmptly be taken over by GOSL to benefit the masses.
“Police investigations into the attack on the Uthayan office in Jaffna had revealed that it was an ‘inside job’.”
Inside Job by the Government of Sri Lanka?
What is the Truth?
Who is credible here?
One can lie only so many times. Once upon a time there was a Shepard boy, who cried wolf….you know the rest of the story.
Official Police report Quote ” Except a handful of media institutions, the vast majority are privately owned. In the recent past, it is only Udayan which is owned by a Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian (who is actively campaigning against the government and the Military in the North and East) that allegedly faced numerous forms of harassment.
“This is an interesting phenomenon. There are several other publications in Jaffna and elsewhere (published in all three languages) that level harsh criticism on the government as well as the Military but there are no allegations of harassment. Why is it only Udayan? According to preliminary investigations carried out by the authorities, the damage caused by the latest attack is not excessive. Only three paper rolls are partially burnt along with few papers, no damage to any printing machines, and power supply has been interrupted due to heat”.
Hope the International Community who’s very much interested in SL internal affairs follow this event and understand how the PRO Elam groups including TNA is trying to take the whole world on a ride.
Now the million Dollar (Dollars) question:
Is the international community blinded by TNA and Pro Elam groups or are they turning a blind eye to the truth (what’s really happening in the grass root level).