Yal Thinnakural intimidated

The Free Media Movement-led five local media rights organizations have condemned the reported threats and intimidations targeting Jaffna daily ‘Thinakural’ by the army-supported paramilitaries.
A joint statement by them said they have focused their attention on continuous threats and intimidation by the army and the paramilitaries against media personnel and media institutions in Jaffna.
This has seriously eroded media freedom in the peninsula, they said, noting that TNA Jaffna district MPs had told Parliament four days ago that the publication of newspapers there has come to a standstill.
The Army had ordered the editor of the newspaper to refrain from reporting the death of a fisherman at Kudakkadal due to army artillery fire.
An unidentified armed group that stormed the ’Thinakkural’ office around a week ago had demanded information about the journalist who had reported a peace rally in Thumpalai, Vadamarachchi, the statement alleged.
Organized by several catholic churches, the event was conducted peacefully and participants called for the declaration of the Madhu Church area as a peace zone, and the restoration of the Our Lady of Madhu statue to its original resting place.
The five media organization say that upon inquiry, the management of the newspaper confirmed both incidents.
This negative trend should not continue, they noted, and requested the government and all armed groups not to disrupt the civilian life in Jaffna.
The safety of media institutions, their employees and families should be guaranteed.
They also asked the LTTE and paramilitaries to respect the people’s right to information, and refrain from attacking media institutions.
The signatories to the statement are the FMM, the Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association, the Federation of Media Employees Trade Unions, the Sri Lanka Muslim Media Forum and the Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance.

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