Sri Lanka police have recorded statements from two Tamil journalists for over two hours with regard to the incident that happened in Maruthankerni where state investigative agencies allegedly threatened Jaffna district MP and Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) leader Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam.
Freelance journalists Pradeepan Thambithurai and Dharmalingam Paramasivan from Jaffna and Kilinochchi respectively were summoned by the special crimes branch to the office of the Kilinochchi Deputi Inspector General (DIG) on Wednesday (21) and interrogate.
“We were repeatedly asked how we gathered this news, how we came to know about it, how we obtained the video. As we cannot reveal our sources the same apply to this also. This could be media oppression because any new laws coming could bring more oppression, and that is our worry. This could be a starting point,” said Pradeepan.
Adding further the Kilinochchi journalist Paramasivan said “ media oppression is the talk of the town now. As part of that oppression, acts of arm twisting journalists is to be condemned. We also express that no such activities should be taken against any journalists in future.”
The incident involves police intelligence officers in civvies on 2 June disrupting a meeting held by Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam in Maruthankerny , his subsequent arrest in Colombo and release by the Kilinochchi court the same day was condemned locally and internationally.
Local media people say such activities have already starting taking place while a new broadcast regulatory authority bill is being discussed by the Ranil Wickremesinghe led government.