Thursday 03 September 2009
In a statement, President Barack Obama said journalist J.S. Tissainayagam was “guilty of nothing more than a passion for truth and a tenacious belief that a free society depends on an informed citizenry.” (Photo: Reuters)
Colombo’s war on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam may have ended. But its war on media freedom is far from over. Unlike the army offensive in the northeast of Sri Lanka, this is a war waged in disregard of the island-state’s ethnic divide.
The latest illustration of this years-long offensive has come with the Colombo High Court sentencing a Sri Lankan journalist to a 20-year prison term, with “hard labor,” on August 31 for his published comments on the armed conflict. Forty-five-year-old Jayaprakash Sittampalam Tissainayagam is a Sri Lankan Tamil, but has never been known to function as a member of the LTTE.