Selvakumar Nilanthan, a Tamil journalist and Batticaloa Press Club secretary, has been summoned to Sri Lanka's Terrorism Investigation Department (TID) in Colombo later this month.
Batticaloa police officers visited Nilanthan's home yesterday to give him the summons letter which orders him to go to Colombo on September 14th for an investigation for his alleged links to Thayamohan, former Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Batticaloa political head.
The police officers also took down the names and identity card numbers of Nilanthan's family members.
Nilanthan has been subjected to multiple interrogations by Sri Lankan police over the last few years.
Earlier this year, Nilanthan and another Tamil journalist P.Sasikaran were visited by intelligence officers who accused the journalists of "inciting separatism on social media" through their coverage of the protests and of "attempting to revive the LTTE."
In July 2020, Sri Lanka's Terrorism Investigation Department (TID) summoned Nilanthan to their Batticaloa office where they demanded Nilanthan to disclose his personal and financial details. He was asked a significant amount of questions about his accounts and the passwords and told to give full access to his Facebook account, Whatsapp account, email account, bank account and other personal details.
For decades, Tamil journalists have been persecuted disproportionately for reporting on human rights abuses, militarisation and corruption. Despite several attacks and killings of journalists, Sri Lanka has failed to investigate and effectively prosecute those responsible. Instead, the state has perpetuated impunity on the island and continued to silence journalists and suppress press freedom. Sri Lanka is currently ranked 146th out of 180 countries in the 2022 World Press Freedom Index, dropping 19 places from the previous year.