The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) demands
authorities in Sri Lanka
take immediate action to resolve the arbitrary two-month detention, without
charge, of Jayaprakash Sittampalam Tissainayagam and two colleagues.
Tissainayagam, the editor of www.outreach.sl, has been detained since
March 7 along with N. Jasiharan, an outreach writer and the owner of E-Kwality
Printers, and Jasiharan’s partner, Valarmathi, after Sri Lanka’s Terrorist
Information Department (TID) arrested seven media personnel from March 6 to 8.
TID officers said the seven were taken in for questioning in
relation to the outreach website, according to the Free Media Movement (FMM),
an IFJ affiliate. The E-Kwality
printing press and outreach website office have been sealed and closed without recourse
to legal procedures.
since released reporter K. Wijesingha, visual editor Udayanan and cameraman
Ranga (all associated with outreach) and the editor of the Tamil language Sarinihar magazine, S. Sivakumar.
In the case of Tissainayagam, a 90-day detention
order was issued on March 27, 20 days after his arrest, following his submission
of a fundamental rights petition to demand his release. In court, the State
counsel is reported to have said he previously did not have a detention order.
has a serious eye condition and is at risk of blindness if he does not receive
specialist attention while Valarmathi is reported also to need urgent medical
“After two months, if charges cannot be brought in a court
of law in accordance with due legal process, Sri Lanka’s authorities must
release all three immediately,” said IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park.
“The manner in which these cases have proceeded indicates
authorities are seeking to secure silence and instill fear among journalists
who report in a critical and independent manner.”
The IFJ joins the FMM
in urging Sri Lanka’s
Government to abide by international human rights standards and ensure Tissainayagam and his colleagues receive a fair and just
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over
600,000 journalists in 120 countries