(RSF/IFEX) - In a 23 August 1999 letter to President Chandrika Kumaratunga,
RSF voiced its concern over the grenade attack on a Tamil newspaper group's
office in Jaffna. RSF asked Kamaratunga "to ensure that a serious and
thorough investigation is launched to find out who was responsible for this
attack, which threatens freedom of the press and opinion in Sri Lanka." RSF
also asked her "to ensure that Tamil journalists can work freely and are
protected by the police or army if they are targets of militia."
On 21 August, unidentified assailants threw two hand grenades at the office
of New Uthayan Publications, which publishes the Tamil-language daily
"Uthayan" and the weekly "Sanjeavy", the only newspapers in the
government-controlled city of Jaffna (in Sri Lanka's north). No one claimed
responsibility for the attack but the editor of the group, Vellipuram
Kaanamylnathan, told Reuters that he suspected pro-government militia
groups - which the newspapers have often criticised - were responsible.
Paramilitary groups have assisted the army in battling the Liberation Tigers
of Tamil Ealam in a sixteen-year civil war.