Journalists Kanapathipillai Kumanan and Shanmugam Thavaseelan were attacked while investigating a timber trafficking operation in the Murippu jungle area.
This statement was originally published on fmm.srilanka.lk on 13 October 2020.
It has been reported that two journalists who went in search of information on an alleged timber trafficking operation in the Murippu jungle area in the Mullaitivu district have been severely beaten by a group including the timber smuggler . The Free Media Movement condemned this heinous attack with absolute contempt.
Journalist Kanapathipillai Kumanan, who provides reports for the Virakesari newspaper and several other media institutions, and the Hiru TV correspondent Shanmugam Thavaseelan, were attacked on the evening of October 12. Thavaseelan is reported to have broken two of his teeth while Kumanan suffered injuries to his nose.
The two journalists lodged a complaint with the Mullaitivu Police Judicial Medical Unit and were admitted to Ward five of the Mullaitivu Base Hospital for treatment.
In the context of regular reports of environmental disasters, it is a tragedy that instead of strict legal action taken against these perpetrators, that journalists who come forward to report are being subjected to severe attacks. Indunil Wijenayake, a journalist who went to cover an illegal sand mining operation near the Kumbukkan Oya bridge in Moneragala, was attacked by the illegal sand miners on October 3. The Free Media Movement urges the authorities to initiate legal action against those involved, regardless of rank, enabling journalists to pursue their profession freely without facing such tragic situations.