Sri Lankan soldiers accused of brutally attacking Tamil journalist covering commemoration of civil war dead

Published on : 12:32 PM Nov 30, 2021

A group of Sri Lankan soldiers have been accused of brutally attacking a Tamil journalist who attempted to cover this week's commemoration of Lankan Tamils who died in the LTTE's final battle with the government troops in 2009.

Sri Lanka: A group of Sri Lankan soldiers have been accused of brutally attacking a Tamil journalist who attempted to cover this week's commemoration of Lankan Tamils who died in the LTTE's final battle with the government troops in 2009.

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In an email addressed to Media Minister Dullas Alahaperuma, The Federation of Media Employees Trade Unions (FMETU) said that journalist Vishwalingam Vishwachandran was subjected to a brutal attack in Mullaitivu while engaging in media reporting on November 28.

"The barbaric attack was carried out with a palm stick wrapped in barbed wire while the victim was taking photographs of the Mullivaikkala name board, it said. They cited eyewitnesses as saying that the attack was carried out by a group of soldiers who were stationed at the scene. Advertisement

It has been reported that the Mullaitivu police arrested three soldiers in connection with the incident. Mullaitivu in Sri Lanka's north was the heartland of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam when the armed organisation ran its parallel state in the north and east regions. Mullaivaikkal was the scene of the final battle.

The security establishment does not approve of the Tamils in the war zone commemorating the dead which coincides with the heroes week celebrations of the LTTE before being crushed by the military in 2009.

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The local police obtain court orders to block what they call attempts to commemorate the terrorists. The late LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran used to deliver his annual policy speech on November 26 every year, which was his birthday and was also the anniversary of the LTTE's first cadre killed in action on November 26, 1982.

The FMETU claims that the incident was a continuation of the constant harassment of the journalists based in the former north and east conflict zones.
According to the Lankan government figures, over 20,000 people are missing due to various conflicts including the three-decade brutal war with Lankan Tamils in the north and east which claimed at least 100,000 lives.

The Tamils alleged that thousands were massacred during the final stages of the war that ended in 2009 when the government forces killed Prabhakaran. The Sri Lankan Army denies the charge, claiming it as a humanitarian operation to rid the Tamils of LTTE's control.

PTI

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