Jaffna Based three journalists were intimidated in Tuesday (07) night by two police officers who were on mufti clothing. While Those Journalists reporting the negotiation of Northern Provincial Councilor’s with a group of protestors who are urging action against the oil pollution in Jaffna. From yesterday morning there is a group of youth and activists are staging a hunger strike to urge authorities to consider the water pollution by oil spill resulted by dumbing waste oil by a thermal power station at Jaffna Chunnakam owned by a private company sponsored by former government.
Around 9.00 pm Chief Minister of Northern Province and some of the Provincial Ministers and councilors came to the protest area in front of Nallur temple to negotiate. Reporter T. Vinojith from prominent Jaffna base news daily Thinakural, T Pirgatheepan from Colombo Based Radio reporter and another freelancer Majorapiriyan went to the scene for collect the information and interviews from both protesters and authorities. After the successful collection of news item, their tasks accomplished they tried to travel to their district news offices to hand over their news items for this morning’s publication
When they are travelling on motorbikes they were interrupted by two men came on a red color Motorbike possessed the registration number NP BAL 2172. Those two wore police jerseys with the Sri Lankan Police emblems. Both were at drunken stage and possessed a foldable knife with them. They initially blocked the road augured with the journos and asked the identity cards. When journalist replied and questioned about the official capacity to ask the identity documents in mufti they started to chase them and intimidated them with the knife. It was initially happened behind the Nallur temple.
Journalist managed to escape from the police officers and continued their journey towards their offices. They were followed again by police officer through the Point Pedro road by motorbikes with the knife until they ride into Jaffna Police station to safe then and lodge a complaint.
When then were waiting to meet the Jaffna SSP to lodge the complaint, those two police officer intimidated them, came there and parked their motorbike in front of the SSP office, one came to the journalist’s direction and attempted to assault them. Later another constable removed him from the area and requested the journalists to file a first information report.
One of the 100 day programmes objective is eliminating impunity in the political and administrative environment of Sri Lanka. Weather this long lasting issues with the intimidation of journalist in Jaffna and Northern Province would be addressed? Sadly no legal process so far punished the perpetrators who intimidated or abducted Jaffna media activists.