For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
[TamilNet, Monday, 04 October 2010, 08:07 GMT]
Following threats to a Tamil daily in Jaffna by Eelam Peoples Democratic Party (EPDP) led by Sri Lanka minister Douglas Devananda the editors had sought extra protection from Jaffna police and security to the office of the daily has been strengthened, media sources in Jaffna said. The daily had published Sunday, news related to the illegal sand excavation by EPDP firm Maheswary Funds highlighting the appeal by the residents of Vadamaraadchi East to Jaffna District Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians to stop the sand excavation destroying large areas in Kudaththanai and Manatkaadu. EPDP men arriving in two buses had gathered in front of the dailys office to demonstrate against the daily and to attack its office, sources in Jaffna said. However, the situation was brought to normalcy following the talks held between the editors of the daily and some of the EPDP men.
The EPDP firm called Maheswary Funds, named after assassinated EPDP organizer Maheswaray Vealautham, has procured exclusive rights to excavate sand in Vadamaraadchi and is alleged of making huge profits, the sources added.
Sri Lanka Department of Geological Survey & Mine Bureau (GSMB) officials who arrived in Jaffna in August to conduct a survey in Vadamaraadchi East where indiscriminate excavation of sand causes seepage of sea water had to stop their work due to interference by Sri Lanka minister Douglas Devananda.