Another media workshop has been threatened and disrupted by state intelligence agencies and the unruly mob called so-called Nation Building Union on 27th September. This is the 4th media workshop disrupted by the same manner in recent times. On two previous occasions mobs belong to the Nation Building Union disrupted media workshops. They had been threatening to teach lessons to journalists if they continue to hold workshops. This group consists of former military personal and intelligence agents in plainclothes.
This morning (27 Sep) an officer from the Terrorist Investigation Division of the Sri Lanka Police has called journalist and editor of the Meepura web site Freddie Gamage. He has told him that a group called Nation Building Union was going to surround venue of the workshop, the Rani Beach Hotel, organised by Professional Web Journalists’ Association (PWJA) and police cannot ensure the protection of the participants to the workshop. Freddie Ganmage is the secretary of the PWJA.
The police and the group had propagated a lie that the channel four media team is going to conduct a media workshop at the hotel. The police told the hotel owner that ‘civilians are going to arrive at the hotel and demonstrate , which can create a scene of pandemonium ‘ reports LeN.
It further reports that ‘subsequently , the owner of the hotel was met by the Colombo police headquarters officers for the second time and threatened again that immediate action will be taken to halt this workshop . At about the same time 7 to 8 men in civil attire had entered the hotel and declared they have information, channel 4 traitors are participating, and therefore they will have to face dire consequences if the workshop is held.
Following these intimidation and threats the organizers have held the workshop at a different venue. It is learnt that that an order without publicity has been sent out last week to all hotel owners instructing them that a daily list giving full details of the names of all those taking lodging in hotels be provided .