Centre urged to intervene to free journalist

journalist   Political parties in Tamil Nadu and journalist associations on Friday demanded the Centre’s intervention for release of an Indian journalist held in Sri Lanka (SL).

On December 26, the Sri Lankan Police had said an Indian national had been arrested on charges of filming a military installation in Kilinochchi, the former LTTE stronghold.

MDMK leader Vaiko wrote a letter to the prime minister urging him to take measures for the safe return of the man hailing from Tamil Nadu. Vaiko stated that the arrested person was one Tamil Prabhakaran and said he travelled to SL on a tourist visa on December 25. He said, Prabhakaran had accompanied Sri Lankan Tamil MP Sritharan and Pasupathi Pillai, elected Member of the Northern Provincial Council, who visited Ponnavili, a Tamil village. While claiming that Prabhakaran was a journalist, Vaiko insisted that a journalist had “every right” to visit any country on a tourist visa and the “freedom to meet people”.

PMK founder S Ramadoss also flayed the arrest, alleging that it was an example of human rights violations in that country.

The Chennai Press Club and Chennai Union of Journalists wrote to the External Affairs Ministry (EAM), saying Prabhakaran had written a series of articles in a Tamil bi-weekly “about the plight of the Lankan Tamils”, which was subsequently published as a book. The associations sought the EAM’s intervention to facilitate Prabhakaran’s release. (Deccan Herald)

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