For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
TID questioned FMM secretary
Three officers from Terrorist Investigation Division visited the Free Media Movement office in Colombo on 29th January and questioned few FMM members including it its secretary for three hours. TID officers’ main focus was former journalist Prakash Shakthi Velupillai, who was arrested at Colombo international air port on 22nd January. Prakash has worked as a journalist in eastern district of Batticloa some years ago. Since then he is being held in TID detention centre, Colombo Fort.
On 24th speaking at a government press briefing government defence spokesperson Minister Keheliya Rambukwela accused Prakash of being an LTTE activist and posing as a journalist. The Ministry claimed he was about to take a flight to Singapore and was allegedly carrying forged press credentials. The minister was quoted as saying Prakash was attached to the IFJ and its partners in Sri Lanka.
In a press statement issued on 27th January IFJ rejected the accusation.
President Mahinda Rajapaksha speaking to editors on 27th has said that it was Sunanda Deshapriya who has given a letter to Prakash to obtain media ID, although director information has stated on record that no media ID has been issued to Prakash Shakthi Velupillai.
Free Media Movement has not issued any media IDs to any journalist in Sri Lanka.