Submitted by Muthamizh Vendhan for Salem-News.com
In recent times, the SL military intelligence operatives, deployed in the name of ‘Terrorist Investigation Department’ of the SL police, have been harassing, detaining and deporting journalists.
Arrest of Thamizh Mahaapirapaaharan.
(COLOMBO TamilNet) – A young journalist from Tamil Nadu, Thamizh Mahaapirapaaharan, who was touring in the North was arrested by the occupying Sri Lankan military and the SL police Wednesday noon, while he was talking to the parish priest of St. Antony’s Church in Ponnaavea’li, news sources in Vanni said.
The Indian journalist visiting the island on tourist visa was together with Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian S. Sritharan, Northern Provincial Council (NPC) member S. Pasupathipillai and Karaichchi Piratheasa Chapai (PS) member S. Thayaparan during the detention, interrogation and arrest, the news sources further said.
The journalist, who had earlier visited the island and authored an article in Anantha Vikatan, was this time visiting the island on tourist visa to make a round trip as a visitor to North and East.
TNA parliamentarian Sritharan had a meeting with the people of Ponnaave’li around 11:00 a.m. and was visiting Vearavil, Ponnaave’li and Valaippaadu villages in Muzhangkaavil area. The accompanying visitor from Tamil Nadu had also taken some photographs of the living condition of the people in these villages.
More than 50 Sri Lanka Army soldiers surrounded the church around 1:30 p.m. and detained the journalist together with the TNA politicians. The SL military seized the cameras from the politicians and the visitor while the SL police took them to Jeyapuram Police station. After more than 4 hours of the interrogation at the police station, the TNA parliamentarian and the councillors were released after their cameras were inspected. The TNA politicians were later released, but Thamizh Mahaapirapaaharan was detained.
He has been subjected to lengthy interrogations by the SL military intelligence operatives, informed sources said. His communication with outside world has been cut off.
In recent times, the SL military intelligence operatives, deployed in the name of ‘Terrorist Investigation Department’ of the SL police, have been harassing, detaining and deporting journalists and other activists who visit the island in tourist visa and interact with local journalists or politicians in the North and the East.
Questioning the motive of Colombo’s interrogators, the NPC councilor Mr Pasupathipillai blamed the SL military and police for banning the interaction between the tourists and the people in the North. He also questioned why those on tourist visa cannot be present with the democratically elected representatives of the people while they were touring the North.
TNN & Agencies | Dec 27, 2013,
“An Indian national was arrested in Kilinochchi. He had video-taped a military camp and war devastation of buildings,” police spokesman Ajith Rohana told reporters in Colombo.
“As he had violated the visa rules, he was handed over to the immigration authorities,” he said. Kilinochchi was the administrative centre of the Tamil Tigers until January 2009 when the Sri Lankan forces recaptured the town.
Prabhakaran was picked up by the Sri Lankan army when he was touring the region accompanied by Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP S Sritharan and his supporters. When contacted, Sritharan told TOI, “Prabhakaran is my friend and he was travelling with a group of people, including Northern Province councilors Pasupathipillai, Thayaparan and others. He travelled with us when we went to Veravil, Valaipadu, Kiranchi and Jayapuram in the Kilinochchi district.”
Sritharan denied that Prabhakaran had videographed an army camp, saying no one can enter army camps in the island nation. “The world knows how difficult it is to enter an army camp. I met Prabhakaran when I visited Chennai and he called me when he landed here. He was not feeling well for the past two days. Army officials threatened and manhandled him,” Sritharan said.
Sritharan said the group visited some areas to meet people and inquire about their problems. He said they had not gone to areas where military installations are located.
Prabhakaran was reportedly attempting to make a documentary on the state of Tamils but he went on a tourist visa. “We fear he has been taken to a torture camp. Nobody has contacted us. We are planning to move the international agencies for help,” said his friend and activist Thirumurugan Gandhi. Prabhakaran visited Sri Lanka in 2012 in a similar fashion. He came back and released a book “Pulithdam Thedi.”
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