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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Sri Lanka: Three Tamil journalists threatened while reporting

Three Tamil journalists, Prabhakaran Dilaksan, Sundarampillai Rajeskaran, and Chinnaiya Yogeswaran, were threatened by the Sri Lankan army as they attempted to cover the gathering of civilians visiting a temple within the ‘High-Security Zone’ in Palali Vasavilan, Jaffna.

The temple, recently opened for public worship, saw a congregation of people this morning eager to offer prayers. As the journalists arrived to report on the event, they faced intimidation from the military, with their phones being confiscated and destroyed.

The Sri Lankan army recently granted conditional access to seven temples out of 21 located within the high security zone in Jaffna, mandating worshippers must use army transportation and provide their home address to reach the temples. The high security zones have been maintained by the Sri Lankan military despite the armed conflict ending sixteen years ago.

Anyone intending to visit any of these temples must provide their names, addresses, identification card numbers, and telephone numbers to the management of the Temple, which will share it with the district and divisional secretariat before they can even be allowed to visit. Among the list of temples included, is the Palaly Raja Rajeswari Amman Kovil.

In addition to this, those wishing to visit cannot travel alone and must seek transportation from the army to enter the high-security zone. The news comes just days after an announcement from the Presidental Media Division citing that 11 Buddhist temples out of which four are in Trincomalee will be declared sacred.

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