IFJ Condemns Restrictions On Tamil Paper In Sri Lanka

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

releases.

 

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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on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

 

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