9th December 2008, Colombo: The Free Media Movement is deeply concerned and condemns the attempt to silence the UTHAYAN newspaper, published in Jaffna.
According to the Managing Director of the newspaper, Mr. E. Saravanapavan, the threat had been made over the phone, and the caller is alleged to have told the staff member who answered the phone, that the newspaper must stop functioning immediately. The threatening phone call had been made to the newspaper office on January 6, 2008 around 10.45 a.m.
Upon the staff member inquiring as to where the call was being made from, the caller had said it was from the Kayts police station. A complaint regarding this has been made to the Jaffna Police on January 8, 2008.
This is not the first instance that the UTHAYAN newspaper has been threatened. Intimidation of the newspaper has ranged from its staff being killed, to attacks to its building and obstructing the distribution of the newspaper.
The FMM reiterates its stand that freedom of expression is essential for democracy to flourish and requests the Inspector General of Police to look into the matter immediately and stop intimidation of the media.