No comment on Uthayan says UN

The UN was not in a position to comment on the recent attack on the Uthayan newspaper distribution office in Killinochchi.

When asked for a comment during the daily press briefing at the UN Headquarters in New York yesterday (Monday), UN spokesman Martin Nesirsky said that he did not have a comment on the particular attack.

However he noted that the UN Secretary-General’s position is quite clear on media freedom which is that all journalists must be allowed to carry out their work free of violence and free of intimidation.

The Kilinochchi office of the Uthayan Tamil newspaper came under attack on April 3.

At least three people were injured during the attack while the building and a vehicle parked outside was also damaged.

Staff at the newspaper said that when the newspapers to be distributed were about to be unloaded at the Kilinochchi office from a mini lorry, an unidentified gang approached the vehicle and attacked it with poles.

They then assaulted the staff and went inside the Uthayan office and attacked office property.

Two employees of the newspaper were admitted to hospital while the other person had sustained minor injuries.

A complaint had been lodged over the incident with the Kilinochchi police.

The Tamil newspaper had been the target of several attacks in recent times while distributors and journalists of the newspaper have also faced threats and intimidation. (Colombo Gazette)