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Sri Lankan police charge Tamil Guardian correspondent over reporting local government corruption

Tamil Guardian's Batticaloa-based correspondent S Nilanthan has been charged and told to appear in court next week over his reporting on alleged corruption with regards to a local government official.

Nilanthan had been reporting on Tamil-language news platforms on corruption allegations made about the Chenkalady divisional secretary (DS). He had also covered a protest against the DS outside the Divisional Secretariat, carried out by local residents.

The journalist believes that the DS had used his influence to order Sri Lankan police officers to threaten him with arrest by visiting his home at night and in plain clothes.

Nilanthan complained about the irregular visit to the district sub-inspector of police (SI) the following day. The SI denied that such a visit would have taken place, but nevertheless apologised for any irregularities. A complaint was also registered at the local human rights commission (HRCSL).

However on Saturday, police officers from Eravur station once again visited Nilanthan's home and told his wife that he should appear in court on January 7, to answer charges of obstructing the duty of a government official.