US wants credible probe

The United States (US) has called for a credible investigation into the attack on the Uthayan newspaper office in Jaffna today.

The US Embassy in Colombo said it was concerned about the series of attacks on Uthayan and urged the Sri Lankan authorities to protect freedom of the media.

The Uthayan Jaffna office was attacked and the printing press set on fire by an unidentified group this morning.

According to the newspaper staff, the office at Kasthuriyar road was attacked at around 4.45 this morning.

The staff was preparing to distribute the newspapers when an armed gang entered the premises and threatened the staff before moving into the printing press.

The men had first opened fire targeting the printing machine and then poured petrol on it and set it on fire.

The Jaffna police later arrived at the location and began investigations.

Earlier this month the Kilinochchi office of the Uthayan Tamil newspaper was also attacked.

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. (Colombo Gazette)