Friday, December 16, 2005

Attack on free media is the first step to war

The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and its auxiliary armed gangs have embarked on a campaign to destroy Tamil language free media. The intimidation being dished out the media appears to be in retaliation to the media giving wide coverage to recent atrocities by the SLA and the armed gangs.

On Thursday the offices of ‘Namathu Eelanadu’ a Tamil language daily published from Jaffna, came under intense search by the SLA. Many workers were harassed for several hours. Those who happened to have visited the offices for various reasons were also intimidated and forced to produce their identity cards.

Further on Friday distributors of the ‘Sudar Ozhi’ weekly news paper have come under intense attack by armed groups in the Amaparai district.

Peace activities said that ‘attack on free media is always the first step to war. It’s a process of conditioning local journalists to a state of fear which could essentially stop them from reporting on the human horror stories of war.’

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