FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION SRI LANKA

For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya

Uthayan newspaper offcie attacked by gunmen

Early morning incident – printing machine scorched, press set on fire by unknown group this morning.

An attack is again executed against the “Udayan” daily newspaper published from Jaffna today in the early morning hours.
Unidentified armed group stormed into the printing press point blankly carried out shooting.  Shooting was executed towards the print machine, doused the printing machines with petrol and set fire to them. 
This incident caused the printing machine not usable for operation and a large quantity of printing rolls was set on fire was said.
This attack was carried out in the motive of hampering the daily circulation of  “Udayan” newspaper, and this caused the printing work to get affected severely.
Three persons clad with helmets came to the entrance of “Udayan” office today 13th April,  in the early morning hours at about 4.30 a.m and one of them  scolded the security guards in bad language, threatened and chased them from the spot. They shot on air.
The other two accompanied him, entered the main printing machine room and ordered the employees to leave and fired on air. 9 millimeter Pistol was utilized for the shooting  against the printing workers was said.
Reports states, the gang initially shot on air threatened the security guard and later opened fire at the computers as well as the printing machines, before set on fire them.
Information said, staff narrowly escaped from the shooting incident.
The attackers had shot the printing machine and the main power supply and  threw stacks of paper rolls burnt by pouring petrol to the main areas of the print machine room.
Efforts of throttling “Udayan”, the voice of Tamil people are day by day getting increased. In the aim of “Udayan” reaching the people’s hands, hampering the distribution task are carried out from  this year beginning.
On last January 10th, at the time “Udayan” newspaper was engaged in distribution assignments, a distributing staff from the Vadamaratchi locality was assaulted and his motorcycle and the newspapers taken by him for distribution was scorched in the middle of the road.
On last January 15th, an  “Udayan” Reporter was severely assaulted at the Jaffna bus halt. Subsequent to this incident a “Udayan” reporter was given death threat by a military officer attired in uniform at the Jaffna bus halt.
On last 3rd of April, the “Udayan” regional office at Kilinochchi, was under attack, by a gang intruding the office, attacked the staff severely and properties worth of many millions were damaged.
“Udayan” faced many challenges in the past period. In year 2006 May 2nd, on the day world media day was celebrated, some thugs intruded the “Udayan” office premises on May 1st, carried out shooting. Due to the shooting executed by the hooligans, the Distribution Manager of  “Udayan” and a  staff of “Udayan” were killed instantaneously.
Gunmen entered the “Udayan” Editors desk destroyed the office computers and the equipment connected.
In year 2010, February month, granite attack was against “Udayan” office. “Udayan” Chief Editor’s residence narrowly escaped from this attack.
Subsequent to the attack against the “Udayan” office located in Kilinochchi last April 3rd, additional security was appealed from Inspector of Police but so far activities to this was not carried out by the  Inspector General of Police.
Meanwhile after today early morning incident, police was contacted on the emergency telephone number 119, and calls were given to the Jaffna police station from the “Udayan” office telephone, but police did not respond the calls.
Due to this failure, our Colombo branch office contacted Police Officer Saman Chickara officer in charge of the Jaffna Police station over the mobile phone, informed the incident, and concurrently the police came to “Udayan” office to carry out investigation.
-Uthayan Online

Information

This entry was posted on April 14, 2013 by in news and tagged , , , , , .
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