Image: Bullet marks of gunmen who entered and shot dead marketing Manger and another employee of Uthayan newspaper. ©S.Deshapriya,
As Sri Lanka minister or Law and Order Sagala Rathnayaka has requested to provide him with details of the attacks on Uthayan Newspaper during the Rajapaksa rule, Sri Lanka Brief publishes a document prepared by the Newspaper it self with photographic evidence on 38 such incidents.. It was during the UNESCO Conference on ‘International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists’ in Colombo on 4th December 2017 Minster Rathnayaka made the request as response to a question raised by Uthayan editor. It request became public thru a Tweet by a Nalaka Gumawardana .
Minister has implied that he wanted the information to take legal action against the perpetrators.
Attacks and Damages to Uthayan
Reason for Attacks and Actions Taken; and Informed to Administers of Uthayan by Law and Order Implementers are given whenever available. Please see the PDF below to read in a chart.
On 21st. December 2013 our Vanni area reporter Mr.N.Kirishnakumar was attacked by a three man gang at about 06.00 pm that lay at his home. One person had been captured by the neighbors and handed over to the police. Up to now about 38 incidents had taken place against Uthayan, few Uthayan staff also had lost their life.
Not a single case was brought to the courts by the law and order enforcing authorities.
02 /28.10. 2013
Uthayan’ Photo Journalist Chandrakumar Tharsan who was assigned to cover the assembling of members of Parliament, Members of Northern Provincial Council and Members of Pradesha Sabas at Kadduvan, took pictures of the event, was threatened by a member of the Sri Lanka Army, a Brigadier.
Our photographer’s camera was forcibly detached by the particular officer and the pictures erased.
In addition to that, he was reprimanded and intimidated that the pictures appears in our news paper serve action would be taken.
This was done in order to prohibited the news of houses destroying spread out. Complaint Made on entry no.HRC/JA/214/2013
03/ 21.09. 2013.
A fake issue of Uthayan news paper designed and printed to look like the genuine Uthayan and distributed to news paper agents in the Jaffna town in the early hours of the Election Day .
From prevent the voters poll in election to TNA.
Uthayan office reporter Mr. G. Dileepamuthan, who was on his way back to his home attacked by unknown persons ,who came by Auto three wheeler at 18.40 pm. He was admitted to hospital with injuries. In the previous weekend Uthayan news paper an article appeared against EPDP.
Attack by armed hooligans who intruded in the early morning into the main printing section at 04.30 A.M., and damaged the main web machine. Action Nil
Early morning at about 4.50 a.m. ‘Uthayan’ branch office at Kilinochchi was attacked by a seven hooligans, who had come there wearing masks, to their faces. Branchmanager Arumugam Ponraj (66 years) was attacked brutally with injured. Delivery workers namely Kiddinan Praddepan (28 years) Kupusamy Visvanathan (38 years) and V.Sugirtahan (29 years) were attacked the others attacked and injured in the incidents. Property including computers and office electronic equipments belonging to the branch office estimated to be several million rupees also damaged beyond repair.
Inorder to stop spread the true news in to Vanni. Action Nil
Mr. G.Deleepamuthan, our staff reporter, had been threaten bodily harm and warned by a senior officer – Brigade Commander 512 – Brigadier Ajith Pannawella, who was in civil.
The Intelligence person to hide them that they back the protest by public against UN. Complaint Made on 21st.March.2013
The “Uthayan on Line” journalist’s camera has been plunged and damaged by an Army Officer at the ‘Satyagraha’ held by the people of Valigamam North at Tellippallai in front of the Durgai Amman temple.
To hide from identifying the Army intelligence.
Two unidentified men have chased the “Uthayan” delivery employee at Kopay junction, who has taken news papers to Valvettiturai for delivery. But he escaped without being attacked.
Intend to reduce the Uthayan circulation.
At a protest rally organized by Equal Rights, Movement, in front of Jaffna bus stand, to give pressure to release the Jaffna University Students, the crude oil was thrown on media reporters, who were there to cover news assignments. “Uthayan” reporters Mr. K.Nirojan is also one of the journalists, who were affected. Intend to threat the journalists.
The media reporters who have gone to University premises to collect news were attacked by arm forces.
The main purpose is to put the public in dark.
12./ 26.11.2012 .
At Jaffna University Hostel some students tried to lit lamp to remember their kith and kin that were killed in war. In that vicinity army entered and made some harassment. Uthayan editor Mr. T.Premananth, came to know the incident and visit there to record this, was attacked by army ranking officer and tried to damage the camera. Our editor injured and admitted to hospital.
Police entry also made. But any action were not taken yet.
Uthayan News Editor Mr. Gnasundaram Kuganathan was assaulted and was seriously injured, when he was returning home after the day’s duty at about 7.30 P.M., by two un identified armed men. This occurred in close proximity to an Army Camp on the Navalar Road junction.
Due to the loss in local government election took place on 23.07.2011.
Death threat to Mr. E.Saravanabavan, Member of Parliament. At about 9.25 P.M., a threat call was received by the Member of Parliament. The caller warned that the Member of Parliament should leave the country and if he stayed in the country, he should stop criticizing the Government and the Ministers, if not he will be murdered. He was warned that he should leave the country within 02 days.
Uthayn Photographer Mr. Ratnum was attacked and he sustained severe injuries in his hand at the T.N.A. Local Government Propaganda Meeting held at Alvaddy Mahajana College Building As he took photos of army intruders in civil at the meeting
Uthayan Reporter Mr.S.Kavitharan, was assaulted at about 6.30 A.M. on his way to Office by four unidentified persons. This occurred in close proximity to the Jaffna Hindu College Play Grounds.
Mr. Puvanenthira Mayurathan, a Reporter of Uthayan was manhandled and beaten up at the Jaffna University Premises by the students and Security personnel when he had gone to collect news.
A Police Constable named Ratnadasa Prdeepan alias Setti of Atchuvely South entered Uthayan Premises and threatened the employees saying that he would set fire to the entire building; was arrested by the Police within the premises itself.
Uthayan, Chudar Oli Editor Mr. N.Vithyatharan was threatened by Kishore SivanathanM.P.
A Pamphlet was issued under the nick name of a Joint body called “Joint Tamil Body to Save the Country” stating that Uthayan would not be permitted to function, and the employees, Agents and correspondents would have to face death sentence, if Uthayan does not cease publication by 30th June, 09.
His Excellency the President Rajapaksa on hearing same, immediately issued a statement that Uthayan should not be harassed. Remedial measures were taken in this regard.
All three news papers that were taken for delivery was snatched by two masked persons with small arms like swords and thrown to the middle of the road, poured petrol and burnt. This incident took place in close proximity to the town- in between Navlar Road and Anaipanthy junction. The hooligans ordered the Uthayan Delivery personnel to set fire to the News Papers. At the same time, Uthayan News papers were snatched from a private person who purchased same at the gate and does house delivery, were thrown on the road and burnt.
This was just before the Jaffna Municipal Council Election.
At 11.10 p.m. an unidentified crowd had hurled a grenade to the apartment of the Chief Editor within Uthayan premises. He narrowly escaped the attack without any injuries, but unfortunately the Police Guard who was on duty was badly injured and was immediately taken to hospital.
Editor Uthayn/ Sudar Oli was kidnapped/ arrested while he was at a funeral house by an armed identified white van gang and was detained in Police custody and was released after 02 months.
M/s, Wilson and Charles of the E.P.D.P. came to the Uthayan office in the morning and asked for the Editor. G.M. said that the Editor was not available and then they went away. Again in the evening at about 7.30 p.m., came and requested the Security Guard that they wanted to meet the Editor. They were told that he was not available in his seat. Then they wanted to speak to any other person from the Editorial and were told no one is available and M.D. was contacted, and M.D. spoke to them. When leaving the security point, they said that they would have to pay for all these as they have not highlighted about the demonstration they staged the previous day.
An anonymous telephone caller from Kayts (Fortress of the Para Military Group” ordered in rough voice’ that publication of the Uthayan be stopped immediately (i.e.07th January). An Official complaint was made at the Jaffna Police about this threat by the Chief Editor.
In addition to direct inhuman acts leading to stop the publication there are and were indirect pressures from the Security Forces to throttle the neck of the press.
One of Journalist cum Editorial Assistant Mr.V.Nimalrajah was kidnapped near an Army Check point at Navalar road, very close to Uthayan office. He is now in the list of missing persons.
Commanding Officer of Major General Chandrasiri met the Press. He said still the news papers in Jaffna are publishing news stories tarnishing the image of Security Forces and news against them.
About six months back also there was a discussion about this. There must be a balance in publishing news. By publishing news about tarnishing, the actions and activities of security Forces you are not only hurting me but also the 30 thousand Army Men who are under me.
He indicated that Media unit is maintaining separate, files for each Newspaper particularly for news and articles not palatable to then.
After that Major General Chandrasri had been appointed as the Governor of Northern Province.
Unidentified gun men got down from the a ‘White Van’ and tried to intrude into the apartment of our Editor Mr.N. Vithyatharan and inquired from the Security personnel and tried to go inside pretending that they have come to meet him personally. But the Security Personnel wisely replied’ he is not inside and gone out’. Immediately, it was informed to Government Instituted highly Powered monitoring Committee consisting of Government Ministers and Politicos.
Mr.S.Rajvaraman one of Uthayan Staff Reporters was shot dead by unidentified gunmen while on his way for duty to our Office in the morning.
At about 04.00 P.M., Curfew time, Major general G.A.Chandrasiri, the Commanding Officer of the Security Forces in Jaffna, sent his men from Palaly Head Quarters to bring Uthayan Editor. As the Editor was not available a Senior Journalist represented him.
He told the journalist that news about Security Forces should not be published in Uthayan to tarnish them. If that is not adopted, the Newspaper Office will be sealed and publication ceased.
He further added that a committee appointed by him will visit the Newspaper office, at nights for seven days (from 24.07.2006) for monitoring the news to be published. The Committee will make alternations if necessary.
The Commander continued; Journalist not to divulge details of his conversation. They should not go to the web, specially the “Tamil Net”. He said it is merely my advice to you and nothing else.In fact, the S.F. Commander threatened Uthayan Journalist to toe the Government line or face closure of Uthayan.
Major General Chandrasri was appointed as the Governer of Northern Province.
Several gunmen entered the Uthayan premises (during curfew hours) jumping over the wall and walked up straight to our Editorial floor. The alert Security Guard informed the Police (They are being posted by the Government after May 2nd massacre at our office.)
The police immediately rushed and apprehended the intruders in civil and subsequently released them without taking any action against them.
This was officially reported to high ranking Police Officers This was officially reported to high ranking Police Officers
Uthayan main stores and our stock of News print fully burnt.
33. / 15.08.2006
While Uthayan driver was distributing our News Paper to the Agents he was shot dead
Marketing Manger and another employee shot within the office, 02 maimed and several others injured. Also damaged the Electronic and Electrical items by shooting, Machineries and furniture did not escape their eyes. A cartoon appeared at Uthayan on 01.05.2006, the previous day to the incident about EPDP leader.
Hand grenade was thrown at the Colombo Uthayan advertisement office which was situated at Wellawatta, and fortunately nothing happened to the staff. The owner of the building informed that he would be murdered if the building was given to NUP
An attempt was made to murder the Chief Editor while coming for work by knocking him down by a van and he escaped with serious injuries.
Sri Lanka Air Force bombed our Nallur office- 01 killed on the spot and 01 maimed. O1 customer lost his leg.
Neither inquiry made nor compensation paid
library/pc/d/attacks and damages.
Read as a PDF:attacks and damages to Uthayan ( prepared by Uthayan News Paper)