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.