The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins
its affiliate the Free Media Movement (FMM)
in expressing concern over increased hostilities toward Tamil-language
newspaper Uthayan, based in Jaffna in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province.
The FMM reports that Jaffna Municipal Council has ordered
its officials not to invite Uthayan journalists
to cover official events or provide them with any information such as media
Officials are also reported to have prohibited
all government offices and departments from subscribing to or purchasing the
newspaper. The ban extends to libraries in the city, where Tamil-language
speakers constitute a majority.
“It is unacceptable that authorities
would actively deny a particular language group access to official
information,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director
Jacqueline Park said.
Uthayan’soffices and journalists were
subjected to attack throughout the country’s 26-year civil war, and the period
since the war ended in May 2009. Most recently, a police constable was arrested
after threatening to burn the newspaper’s office and assault its staff on March
17, after the paper refused to publish a correction to a news report, Sri Lanka’s
Sunday Times reported.
Unidentified people riding
motorcycles have warned staff against publishing reports and photographs not
favourable to the Government or politicians affiliated with the ruling United
People’s Freedom Party.
The IFJ joins the FMM in calling for
an immediate reversal of the decision by the Jaffna Municipal Council.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents 600,000 journalists in 125 countries
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