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Tamil Guardian correspondent released on bail following arrest

Tamil Guardian's Batticaloa-based correspondent Selvakumar Nilanthan, who appeared in court on Wednesday after reporting on alleged corruption against a local government official, was released on bail.

S Nilanthan appeared at Eravur Circuit Magistrates Court on Tuesday, where he was summoned to answer charges of reporting about protests and disclosing the opinions of local residents on Tamil-language news platforms against the divisional secretary (DS), N Vilvarathnam.

An initial complaint was tabled against the Batticaloa District Tamil Union independent journalist Nilanthan on in February last year by the DS and was filed at the Eruvar police station, alleging that he was obstructing the duty of a government official.

Although over the past 10 months Nilanthan received no calls or letters regarding the complaint, he was visited by police officers from Eravur station on last Thursday night at around 9pm, informing him that he should appear at court. Nilanthan has previously said he felt 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. The journalist submitted a complaint against the district sub-inspector of police for his irregular visits to the local human rights commission (HRCSL).

Nilanthan was granted bail by Judge Karuppiah at Eravur Circuit Magistrates Court and ordered to pay 2 lakh rupees to the court, earlier today. He has been told to reappear in court on the 28th of February.

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