Friday, January 7, 2011

Assault on Senior Journalist in Ampara District

NfR reports with indignation the assault on  Mr. P.M.M.A.Cader (53) , a senior multi-lingual  journalist working in the Ampara District in the  Eastern Province of Sri Lanka.   He is the  Provincial Correspondent  for Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited and also  works for some other Tamil language media as well.  Following this attack he is  under treatment  at the  Maruthamunai Hospital in  Kalmunai, for  dizziness and headache.
According to NfR sources in the district, Mr. Cadar  had been  assaulted by  a member of the  Kalmunai Municipal Council on 04th January 2011 while he was on his way to Murathamunai to report on the distribution of food  to  flood victims of the area.  The politician who is alleged to have assaulted him  belongs to the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress. He had demanded that his version on the distribution of goods as flood relief should be reported.  The assault on  Mr. Cader  was a sequel to  his  declining  to accede to this demand by this  politician.  

Although Mr. Cader had made a prompt  complaint at the Kalmunai  Police Station,   the politician concerned  has neither been arrested or questioned  so far.

This incidence confirms that the  culture of impunity has pervaded  into  all levels of governance  in Sri Lanka.  Even at local level,  ruling party politicians wield unhindered power  to   intimidate, threaten and assault  journalists,  public officials  and  their political opponents without any fear of   having to face any legal consequences.   Anyone who does not fall in line with the wishes of politicians  of the ruling power  has to  invariably face all kinds of   harassment  and even other more serious consequences. 

The assault on Mr. Cader is  also another example of  the anti- media culture prevailing among  politicians of the ruling party  in Sri Lanka today. NfR  is of the view that  unless clear signals are sent from  the centre on the  rights of Provincial correspondents  to report on the events in the Provinces independently,  this kind of  intimidations and threats  to media personnel will  continue unabated.

NfR  demands  that  the  Police authorities in Kalmunai to  take immediate steps to investigate  into this incident and  bring the culprits to book. Such an action will also help to re-assure the public that  the Police will act independently  in the maintenance of law and order in the country.


Issued by
Steering Committee, NfR Sri Lanka

Steering committee : Iqbal MCM ( The Netherlands),Kshama Ranawana ( Canada) Lionel Bopage ( Australia), Nadarasa Sarawanan (Norway), Nadarajah Kuruparan(UK) Padmi Liyanage (Germany), Raveendran Pradeepan (France), Rudhramoorthy Cheran (Canada), Saman Wagaarachchi ( USA), Sunanda Deshapriya ( Switzerland)
 C/O, 19447, Victory Blvd,#2, Reseda,CA 91335, USA    NfR.SriLanka@gmail.com
http://nfrsrilanka.blogspot.com/

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