The US ambassador to Sri Lanka visited the Uthayan offices in Jaffna on 04 Sept 2014, and met with the chief editor and staff to gather information about issues faced by journalists in the North.
Andrew Mann met with E Saravanabavan, a TNA Parliamentarian and the proprietor of Uthayan, to discuss intimidation and threats faced by journalism in Jaffna, a journalist at the Uthayan had told Tamil Guardian news service on Thursday.
However, the matters that were discussed during the meeting were not disclosed to the media and the reason for the fact finding visit by the US Embassy officials is still not known. The Uthayan newspaper office has come under attacks on numerous occasions. Staff members of the newspaper had told media that they had been attacked not only by the Sri Lankan military, but also by Tamil militants and the most serious attack was in 2006.
Uthayan was founded in 1985 and is published from Jaffna. Its sister newspapers is the Colombo based Sudar Oli and both papers openly support what they term as “political autonomy” of Tamils in the North. Uthayan was the only newspaper published from Jaffna which did not cease publication due to the three decade long conflict in Sri Lanka.