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Batticaloa journalists demand justice for assault in Mullaitivu

Journalists from the Batticaloa District Tamil Journalists' Union marched through Gandhi Park on Monday, to protest against the attack of fellow Tamil journalist Viswalingham Viswachandran for taking a photo of a Mullivaikkal road sign last week.

Media workers from across Batticaloa, members of the clergy and politicians from both the Tamil National Alliance and Tanil National People’s Front joined the protest demanding justice for the assault.

They also highlighted other recent attacks on journalists, including on press workers covering the Kinniya ferry tragedy in Trincomalee and called for Sri Lankan officials to drop prosecutors to drop terrorism charges against Murugupillai Kokulathasan, locally known as Kokul, a photographer attached to Batticaloa Press Club. He was arrested on November 28, 2020, by the Sri Lankan Terrorism Investigation Department (TID) over allegations that he had published pictures of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on Facebook.

Another protest was held in Mullaitivu at the same time to highlight the attack on Viswalingham Viswachandran.

Earlier today, the Sri Lankan lashed out at the media in a public statement released today, claiming that the assault of a Tamil journalist by military personnel on Saturday was "unverified, exaggerated and factually incorrect", instead blaming "various social media platforms, largely with vested interests".

Though three soldiers were initially detained over the incident, they have since been released and will face a military “inquiry” instead of any other legal process.

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