SL scribe jailed for criticising war against LTTE

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Sri Lankan Journalist, JS Tissanayagam
Colombo, Sep 1: Sri Lankan high court sentenced a Tamil journalist to 20 years in jail under the anti-terror laws for writing articles criticising the Sri Lankan government's war against the Tamil rebels, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The high court in Colombo found the Tamil Journalist JS Tissanayagam guilty under three charges. Judge Deepali Wijesundera convicted the scribe on charges of conspiracy, breaking prevention of terrorism laws, and violating wide-ranging emergency regulations.

The court also charged the journo of causing racial hatred and receiving money from the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) which he used to fund his website.

Tissanayagam who was a prominent critic of the government's offensive against the Tamil Tigers was charged with inciting violence in his articles in North Eastern Monthly, the Guardian reports.

While this move by the Sri Lanka has drawn criticism from the global community of free speech supporters, the International Federation of Journalists called the sentence as 'brutal and inhumane' and accused the island country of misusing the anti-terror law.

This comes after the an outspoken journalist was killed in Sri Lanka earlier this year. Lasantha Wickramatunga, the editor of the Sunday Leader newspaper, was shot by unidentified gunmen. And he revealed the story behind his death by publishing a posthumous column in the paper.

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