The international organisation dedicated to press freedom, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has called on the Jaffna Magistrate’s Court to dismiss the case brought against Tamil Uthayan newspaper under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) which is due to be heard on Tuesday.
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Earlier last month, Sri Lankan police filed a case against the Jaffna-based newspaper for publishing images and quotes of Velupillai Prabhakaran, leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), on his birthday, 26 November.
According to former MP and Uthayan’s publisher E. Saravanapavan, none of the members of the organisation was informed of the charges. Commenting on the charge, he said that the case was filed to retaliate against the newspaper for exposing comments of Jaffna police Headquarters Inspector, which had caused outrage among Tamils across the North-East, and were shared widely on social media.
"These cases are a way to persecute all those Tamil people, journalists and media houses, who espouse Tamil nationalism," Saravanapavan said.
Last November, several vexatious PTA charges were brought against many Tamils for allegedly posting birthday wishes online on the LTTE leader’s birthday.