Lankapage Logo CP 21 YEARS
Go Home Home Serving the Sri Lankan community globally since 2000
go to LankaPage.com

Leading News from Sri Lanka::

* Timber smugglers attack Sri Lankan journalists exposing the racket
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 12:13 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Oct 14, Colombo: The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its Sri Lanka affiliates the Free Media Movement (FMM) and the Federation of Media Employees’ Trade Union (FMETU) denounced an attack on two Sri Lankan journalists by timber smugglers in the Northern Province and requested the government to bring the perpetrators to justice.

According to an IFJ statement, Journalists Shanmugam Thavaseelan and Kanapathipillai Kumanan, correspondents for the Tamil Guardian, were attacked by timber smugglers on October 12 when the journalists duo were working on a story on illegal deforestation and timber smuggling in the Murippu forest area in the Mullaitivu district.

The journalists were attacked by four men on motorcycle brandishing iron rods after the journalists took photos and video footage of the illegal collection of timber in Murippu jungle area for smuggling purpose.

Following the attack, the assailants snatched the camera and journalists’ mobile phones, deleting the videos. The assailants also looted the journalists ‘jewellery and money. Kumanan received serious injuries to his head and nose while Thavaseelan lost a tooth. The attackers also threatened to kill them.

The injured journalists were then taken to Mullaitivu District Hospital, where they are currently undergoing treatment.

Meanwhile, a complaint has been lodged at the Mullaitivu police station against the assailants and police have said that investigations are underway to arrest the perpetrators. The journalists, however, aren’t convinced that the leader of this criminal gang will be arrested as he has continued to roam despite multiple complaints filed against him in past.

Journalists who expose the illegal smuggling of natural resources are frequently targeted in Sri Lanka. Earlier, Derana TV journalist Indunil Wijenayake was attacked by sand-miners in the Kumbukkan Oya area of Monaragala district on October 3.

“It is a tragedy that journalists exposing the wrongdoings are attacked and perpetrators go unpunished in Sri Lanka. We urge authorities to initiate legal actions against those involved, regardless of their rank and political affiliations,” the FMM Convener Seetha Ranjanee said.

The FMETU General Secretary Dharmasiri Lankapeli said: “The FMETU calls for a speedy investigation into this brutal assault on journalists Shanmugam Thavaseelan and Kanapathipillai Kumanan and bring the perpetrators to justice.”

The IFJ said: “Attacks on journalists for exposing the illegal smuggling of natural resources and ongoing impunity in such cases contributes to the disturbing frequency of attacks on journalists. The IFJ urges the Sri Lanka government to take the case seriously and do all that they can to ensure that the perpetrators of these violent acts are punished.”

 

ColomboPage - Recent 10 Stories ::
BOI Chairman Susantha Ratnayake resigns from post
-- [30 minutes ago]
Main suspect in Ranjan de Silva murder arrested
-- [1 hour and 43 minutes ago]
Mahara Prison Riot: Nine killed, 109 others including two prison officers injured
-- [2 hours ago]
Registration of tourism service providers expedited before opening the country for tourists - Tourism Minister
-- [2 hours ago]
Central Bank of Sri Lanka selects SimCorp for front-to-back reserve management
-- [3 hours ago]
Coronavirus update: 503 new COVID-19 cases identified Monday, total rises to 23,987
Sri Lanka reports 2 more COVID-19 deaths today, toll rises to 118
Justice Minister appoints 5-member committee to probe Mahara Prison riot
Twenty-six inmates injured in Mahara Prison riot COVID-19 infected
Defense Secretary instructs IGP to probe tense situation at Mahara Prison

Copyright © 2000, 2020 by LankaPage.com (LLC) :
The news and other contents on ColomboPage are copyrighted property of LankaPage.com, LLC. Any unauthorized use of any information on ColomboPage may constitute a violation of copyright laws. You need written permission to reproduce, republish, post, transmit, broadcast or distribute, material from this site from LankaPage.com, LLC. However, news organizations or broadcasters in Sri Lanka may republish the news items in ColomboPage with proper acknowledgment to ColomboPage.