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Tamil journalists call for strengthening of media sector

Tamil journalists wrote to Sri Lanka’s Minister of Parliamentary Reform and Mass Media calling for support in developing Tamil journalism, which has suffered from decades of conflict, in order to establish “reconciliation and good governance”.

The journalists and former students from the Media Resources and Training Centre of the University of Jaffna, wrote to Sri Lankan minister Kajantha Karunathileke, stating that media training was hindered “due to the oppressions unleashed on the media sector during the period of the former regime and the crisis situation that prevailed in the North”.

The North-East has been highlighted as one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists to work, with a long history of murders and censorship.

Though a new government has since come in to place, the UN Human Rights chief Zeid Al Hussein said on a visit last month that the North-East was yet to have full media freedom, noting that the fear of reprisals “has mutated but, sadly, still exists”.

The letter highlighted “political interference in the affairs of the University of Jaffna” as another obstacle which led to the degradation of the media in the North-East.

By supporting the media sector, it “could help in raising the Tamil Journalism sector to international standard level” and “pave the way for the Tamil Journalism sector to be nurtured to a healthy position aided by the interaction with the Sinhala and English Media,” continued the letter. 

See the full text of the letter here.