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Tamil Guardian correspondent summoned by Sri Lankan police

Updated 1900 GMT

Tamil Guardian’s correspondent Shanmugam Thavaseelan was summoned for questioning by Mullaitivu police on Thursday, after the Sri Lankan navy filed a complaint against him for reporting on a disappearances rally in the district.

The complaint against the Mullaitivu journalist was filed following a rally by Tamil families of the disappeared on Vadduvakal bridge on April 7.

See: Mullaitivu families urge international community to deliver justice

A confrontation had occurred at the rally between protesters and a navy intelligence officer who was seen photographing protesters and journalists. The officer, who tried to escape after he was spotted, had been forced to identify himself as a member of the navy after the crowd questioned his presence and objected to his taking photographs.

Thavaseelan expressed his concern that the police complaint, based on fabricated allegations, had been filed by the navy officer as an act of revenge, and that he and other Tamil journalists in the area were being targeted by Sri Lankan forces in collaboration with the police.

The navy complaint was that Thavaseelan obstructed the Sri Lankan intelligence officer from carrying out his duties.

File photo: Thavaseelan

The same journalist has been subjected to consistent threats and harassment by Sri Lanka’s security forces. Last year the Sri Lankan army was forced to admit and downplay its officers' harassment of Thavaseelan after the journalist filed a complaint at Sri Lanka’s Human Rights Commission. He had been temporarily detained and threatened by army officers while investigating an army land grab of a destroyed LTTE cemetery in Alampil.

Read more:

Tamil journalist detained and harassed by Sri Lankan Army while reporting in Mullaitivu

Sri Lankan military admits to harassing Tamil journalist