Fake intel used to ban Tamil journalist on Sri Lanka’s 74th Independence Day

Police in Sri Lanka have submitted misleading ‘intelligence’ to secure a court order restricting the movements of a leading Tamil journalist in the east.

On February 4, Police handed over a court order banning a non-existent protest to Punniyamoorthy Sasikaran, treasurer of the Batticaloa Press Club.

According to the court order issued by the Batticaloa magistrate, police have received ‘credible intelligence’ that Tamil political parties and several local organisations were launching a 12-hour March protesting the celebration of the 74th year since independence.

Batticaloa Head Quarters Inspector Hettiarachchi had informed the court that the alleged march was to start at 6 am from the Kallady bridge and conclude by 6pm at the Batticaloa Mahatma Gandhi Park.

'Communal hatred'

Police have warned the court that such a march would incite hatred among communities and undermine the reputation of the nation, locally and abroad.

However, no such protest has taken place in Batticaloa today, say local journalists.

Police and security forces conducting heavy surveillance in Sri Lanka’s north and east are notorious for making claims of ‘intelligence’ to obtain court orders and detain Tamils and Muslims.

Local judicial mechanisms have been used extensively to ban anti-government protests.

Journalist Sasikaran himself was handed over at least 12 court orders restricting him from covering the largest protest against the current government by the Tamils and Muslims in 700km long 4 day P2P march held a year ago.



Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka

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