For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
The Sunday Leader office located in Ratmalana was search by armed police officers who had come in a bus a short while ago. The police officers searched the printing press of the office saying they had information that defamatory posters were being printed at the premises.
Given the current violence of the pre-polls period, there is no doubt that this will only intensify in the weeks ahead. There are two key questions in this regard. First, what are the precise directives issued by the Commissioner of Elections and the Inspector General of Police to ensure freedom of movement to electors from their residences to the polling station on the day of the poll, security to the polling agents who accompany Senior Presiding Officers to the counting centre and the security of election staff? Secondly, what are the directives issued by these officers in regard to the deployment and conduct of police officers during the election period itself?
With Monday’s release of J. S. Tissainayagam on bail, maybe things are looking up for the media in Sri Lanka. CPJ welcomed Tissainayagam’s release from a sentence of 20 years’ “rigorous imprisonment,” but called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa to extend him a full pardon, as it is within his presidential powers to do. For now, at least, Tissa, as he is known, is out of his prison cell though not free to leave the country—the appeal court that set him free demanded that he hand over his passport as part of the bail agreement. But there are many other cases still hanging in the air in Sri Lanka that will not go away, even though they are making their way through the courts.
Journalist J.S.S Tissainayagam is seen here all smiles after being released on bail from prison today by the court. He was earlier sentenced to 20 years rigorous imprisonment. http://www.dailymirror.lk/index.php/news/images/849-freedom-at-last.html