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S Tissainayagam, journalist lauded by Obama, is jailed in Sri Lanka for 20 years

September 1, 2009

Amnesty International – Sri Lanka jails journalist for 20 years for exercising his right to freedom of expression

Times Online – JS Tissainayagam, journalist lauded by Obama, is jailed in Sri Lanka

Guardian – Tamil journalist jailed for 20 years

The Associated Press – Sri Lankan journalist given 20 years in prison

Press Trust of India – Tamil scribe given 20 yrs for ‘supporting terrorism’

Bloomberg – Sri Lankan Journalist Gets 20 Years on Terror Charges

Guardian – Sri Lankan court jails Tamil journalist who criticised war

ABC Online – Tamil journo jailed on terrorism charges

New York Times – Sri Lankan Journalist Gets 20-Year Jail Term

New York Times – Sri Lankan War Critic Gets 20 Years’ Hard Labor

Tamilnet – Sri Lankan court imprisons Tamil journalist for 20 years

J.S. Tissainayagam, a senior journalist and Sunday Times columnist, was sentenced to twenty-year rigorous imprisonment by Colombo High Court judge Deepali Wijesundara on Monday. Mr. Tissanayagam has been indicted under the notorious Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and Emergency Regulations (ER), and was charged on three counts including printing and distributing the publication North Eastern Herald Monthly magazine. Tissainayagam, Tamil journalist in jail Tissainayagam, Tamil journalist in jail.

According to the indictment, the veteran journalist had committed an ‘offence’ on two counts under the PTA and has committed ‘acts of violence by inciting communal feelings by editing, printing or distributing the North Eastern Monthly magazine’.

Tissainayagam was also charged under the Emergency Regulations for collecting money for the furtherance of terrorism or specified terrorist activities.

Journalist Tissainayagam was detained on March 7, 2008 when he went to the Sri Lanka’s Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) to look for his colleagues Jasikaran and Valarmathy. He was detained for almost six months without charges.

On August 25th he was charged with writing to incite ‘ethnic disharmony’.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Saman Ariyadasa permalink
    September 1, 2009 1:28 am

    Commonest charge leveled against black freedom fighters by the Apartheid South African regime was “attempting to create racial disharmony”. Current Sri Lankan regime is no better, rather worse. Can a country which has got one of the most corrupt and politicized judiciary system in the world offer anything better than this? Tissa – i pray for you.

  2. tmorgan permalink
    September 2, 2009 3:51 am

    Freedom does come with some responsibilities but the burden on the Lankan govt is to make “hate speech” Laws & then prove journalist Tissainayagam incited violence, not to use terrorist laws to subvert Lanka’s constitutional protections. If Judge Deepali Wijesundara belongs to any international associations, I hope they censure her.

    [Karuna] abducted and forcibly enlisted child soldiers being given a ministerial position and someone who voiced out his dissent being clapped in prison for 20 year under RI! Isn’t that twisted?

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