Post election violence in Eastern province; Forth journalist attacked in Batticloa

 

8th June,colombo/

Free media movement notes with disappointment that in continuing post election violence in the eastern province forth journalist in Kathankudi, Batticoloa district have been intimidated. It comdemens all these attacks in strongest terms.

In latest attack, on 5th July journalist M.A.C. Jalees was assaulted by political party supporters and his camera was taken away.  Earlier journalists T.L.M. Joufer Khan, M.S.M. Noordeen,  Moulavi S.M.M. Musthapha were either threatened or assaulted in the same area. All these journalists belong to Muslim community.
As a non violence protest to continuing violence against journalists in the area Kathnkudi Journalists Forum distributed thousands of handbills soon after the Friday prayers in and around Kathnakudi.  Hand bill which condemns the tactics of intimidating journalists warned that if these intimidations are not halted all journalists in Kathankudi will stop work.
The hand bill was singed by the Kathankudi Media Forum (KMF) .Journalists T.L.M. Joufer Khan, M.S.M. Noordeen, A.L.M. Fazlulhaq, Moulavi S.M.M. Musthapha, M.I. Rahmathullah, and M.A.C. Jalees who singed the hand bill state that they were psychologically affected due to continuous threats and assaults on the media personnel.
Kathankudi police has not investigated any of these incidents to completion so far.  FMM expresses its fears that police may not be taking any action as these attacks are linked to a powerful, ruling party politician in the area.  As FMM noted in one of its previous alerts head of the Kathankudi police has shown clear bias towards this politician and the ruling party.  He did not take any meaningful action to stop wide scale election mal practices and violence that took place on May 10th PC election in Kathankudi.

FMM hold ruling party responsible for these anti media activities and view these tactics as a part of increasing suppression of freedom of expression rights in Sri Lanka.

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Kathankudi journalists launch protest strike

 

Journalists in Kathankudi have commenced a strike following threats to two journalists reporting from the area during the tense situation last week.

In a letter issued by the Kathankudi Media Forum (KMF), journalists comprising T.L.M. Joufer Khan, M.S.M. Noordeen, A.L.M. Fazlulhaq, Moulavi S.M.M. Musthapha, M.I. Rahmathullah, and M.A.C. Jalees stated they were psychologically affected due to continuous threats and assaults on the media personnel.

According to the KMF, journalists and media organisations have been threatened and assaulted on five occasions since April 30.

Four journalists have been assaulted in three instances after the eastern provincial polls held on May 10.

Journalists Joufer Khan and Noordeen were threatened and assaulted during the clashes in Kathankudi on June 4, which has resulted in the journalists in the area refraining from reporting.

This was the second occasion where Joufer Khan was threatened. Joufer Khan and Musthapha were assaulted and their equipment damaged when they were on duty on May 22.

Another journalist,  Jalees was also assaulted the previous day. His camera was damaged and his mobile phone taken away. 

The journalists have demanded that their security should be ensured while reporting from these areas, where clashes between Tamils and Muslims increased last week.

– the sunday leader 8th June 2008