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Tamil editor abducted in Sri Lanka

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Nadesapillai Vithyatharan, a senior Sri Lankan newspaper editor, was abducted by armed men in police uniform this morning, according to the Tamil Eelam News Services. The editor of both the Uthayan newspaper in Jaffna and the Colombo based Sudar Oli was attending the funeral of a friend on the Galle Road in Colombo when the abduction took place,

“When you kill one journalist, you silence a hundred. After the killing of Lasantha, I am told 11 journalists have left. In fact, 35 journalists left the country after December. We started feeling the heat from December,” said [Sunanda Deshapriya, a prominent journalist, living in exile in India]. “This is the toughest period if you consider the killings of journalists. In the last three years, at least 18 journalists and media workers have been killed though the government puts the number at only at nine.” link

Press freedom in Sri Lanka has been severely under attack in recent months. The assasination of Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunge in January, 2009 forced many journalists to flee the island nation in fear of their lives. This week the Committee to Protect Journalists released a special report on the detiriorating situation for Sri Lankan journalists. Earlier this week the Frontline Club held a discussion which touched on issues of press freedom in Sri Lanka.

1 Comment

Nada Manivannan | February 26, 2009 1:02 PM

Mr.Vithyatharan is a very prominent, brave Journalist who writes about the true stories and sensible opinion about Thamils suffering by the hands of Srilankan government. In fact I know him personally because we stuided at same school.
We are not schocked by this action of Srilankan government, because we have seen so many like these in past. However, it is very sadding to me, Thamil community and the journalist scoiety at large. I thing journalist scoiety (local and froeign) and Thamil people in Srilanka (especially those lives in North and East) are having same problem from the Srilankan state terrorism.
Though Srilanka is excuting its terrosits activities, we have to do all the necessary steps to free Mr. Vithyatharan from the custody of Srilankan Government.
I am sure You (the frontline club) must have acted already and I along with other Thamils will rise our voice to all the possible branches and avenues.

I also like to congratulate frontline(UK) for the debate on Srilankan issue on last Tuesday, which I believe is very constructive and hope to see more like that.

Thank you..