FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION SRI LANKA

For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya

Blood Was Dripping From His Head – Uthayan News Editor’s Wife

By Easwaran Rutnam
Blood was dripping from the head of Uthayan news editor Gnasundaram Kuganathan as he came home shouting in pain after two men had brutally attacked him, stated the Jaffna based Uthayan newspaper, quoting his wife.

Gnasundaram Kuganathan, was assaulted by an unidentified group of men while he was returning home on Friday night after work. The journalist has sustained serious head injuries and is in critical condition at the Jaffna hospital.

“He was returning home from work that night. His house is just 200 meters away from the office. We were later told that two men on a motorbike had attacked him near his house with iron rods and he had been admitted to hospital in serious condition,” a journalist at the newspaper told The Sunday Leader.

The Uthayan newspaper said that according to eyewitnesses some men had been monitoring his house during the day on Friday.

When Kuganathan was returning home, two men on a motorbike who were reportedly following him had got off the bike, assaulted him and then had time to get back on the bike and flee. The attack took place just a short distance from an army sentry point, a journalist of the Uthayan newspaper claimed.

The police have begun investigations into the attack and recorded evidence from eyewitnesses.

Kuganathan was believed to have been the target of the worst attack on the paper in May 2006 in which two people were killed.

The New York based Committee to Protect Journalists yesterday accused Sri Lankan authorities of being indifferent to the targeted attacks, killings and disappearances endured by journalists.

“We are extremely concerned for Gnanasundaram Kuhanathan and hope for his speedy recovery,” CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney said in a statement yesterday.

CPJ said that in the past decade, nine murders of journalists in the country remain unsolved.

The latest attack took place just days after the local council elections in which the Tamil National Alliance had won in the north and east.

SL

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