The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the International Press Institute (IPI) call on colleagues
in South Asia and international press to
report loudly and widely on the current trial of senior Tamil journalist J.S. Tissainayagam who is defending himself against
terrorism charges in the Colombo High Court this week.
In what will become a landmark case in the history of press freedom in
Sri Lanka and beyond, Tissainayagam will this week give evidence on two
charges of writing to bring discredit to the government and inciting ethnic and
racial disharmony and printing and publishing such material in the North Eastern Monthly between June 2006
and June 2007 under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (1979) and one charge of
violating the 2006 Emergency Regulations with regard to allegations of aiding
and abetting terrorist organisations through raising money for the magazine.
A representative of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) is
attending the trial this week as an independent legal observer.
Tissainayagam was arrested on March 7 2008 by the Terrorist
Investigation Division (TID) of the Sri Lankan police force and spent over five
months in detention without charge,
before a formal indictment was issued on August 25. Two other media workers, E-Kwality Printers owner N. Jesiharan and his wife
Valamarthi, also continue to be
The IFJ and IPI appeal to journalists and editors to report the
proceedings of Tissainayagam’s trial
to ensure that the international spotlight remains on this watershed case that
will have ramifications worldwide.
IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
IPI: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel +43
represents over 600,000 journalists in
120 countries worldwide
IPI is the global network of editors, media executives and leading
journalists in over 120 countries