The Sri Lankan Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) arrested two Tamils in Jaffna on Monday for allegedly “promoting terrorism” and promoting "terrorism-related activities" on their YouTube channel.
The TID arrested a 36-year-old Tamil man and a 35-year old Tamil woman who managed the YouTube channel and a related website (TubeTamil).
Police spokesman, DIG Ajit Rohana said that "those channels had promoted LTTE ideology in the cyberspace."
“The YouTube channel and the website had created disharmony among the ethnic groups of Sri Lanka,” he added.
Rohana insisted that the website and the YouTube promoted "LTTE ideology" as well as the LTTE leader's speeches and symbols. The TID has also confiscated the channel’s equipment and documents in a raid to its office which is located in Nawalar Street, Jaffna.
The arrested channel operators are currently being taken for further interrogation to the TID’s headquarters in Colombo.
The stifling of Tamil civil society continues to grow in Sri Lanka with journalists, activists and public being subjected to greater surveillance by the tools of the state. The recently released Gazette proscribes numerous Tamil diaspora organisations and individuals, has generated shock and grave concern.
Former Senior Lecturer in Law at University of Jaffna, Dr Kumaravadivel Guruparan, tweeted that a news anchor had been summoned by the TID for being connected to someone on the gazette, warning about the clampdown expected from the Sri Lankan government in targeting Tamil and Muslims.
Yesterday a well known anchor attached to a local TV in Jaffna (whose owner is close to the Rajapaksa family) was summoned to Colombo by the TID and asked about being a friend on Facebook with a person who appears on this list. Early indication of where this is going.
— K. Guruparan (@rkguruparan) March 30, 2021