Exiled Tamil journalist arrested on arrival in Sri Lanka

A Tamil journalist who accepted a public invitation by the government has been arrested on his return to Sri Lanka after being in exile for four years.

Sasikaran Punniyamurthi, freelance journalist originally from eastern Batticaloa, fled to Australia in 2012 due to threats on his life.

Passport confiscated

He has returned to Sri Lanka after leaders of the year-old Sri Lankan government made public statements urging the exiled media personnel to come back.

Sasikaran, who used to serve several Sri Lankan media outlets, was working in SBS while in Australia.

Upon his return on 20 January, Sasikaran has been arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at the Katunayake International Airport and later produced before the Negombo Magistrate’s Court. He has been granted bail in the sum of SLR. 10,000 and two sureties after confiscating his passport. The court has further ordered him to report to the notorious Fourth Floor of the CID every month.

Letter to President

A month before arriving in Sri Lanka, Journalist Sasikaran has written to President Maithripala Sirisena to assure his safety.

"Upon your invitation, following the formation of the new government,  I am longing to come back to my country of birth. I respectfully request your excellency to provide me the necessary safety and security to fulfil my wish," says the letter written on 18 December 2015.



Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka

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