Uthayan Jaffna office set on fire

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.

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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.

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.

In January this year a man delivering Uthayan newspapers in Jaffna was attacked and his motorbike as well as a stack of newspapers were set on fire.

The delivery man had gone to the Uthayan office and collected the newspapers and was heading towards his delivery point when he was surrounded by men on two motorbikes.

He was then assaulted using poles and the motorbike as well as the newspapers were set on fire. He was later thrown towards a drain.

The delivery man suffered injuries to his head and arms.  (Colombo Gazette)