War-affected Tamil journalists in the North of Sri Lanka have expressed their strong condemnation over the police assault and arrest of their Sinhala colleague in the capital Colombo.

“We express our strong condemnation over the barbaric arrest of Tharindu Uduwaragedara which is a continuation of media oppression” the Mullaitivu Press Club (MPC) in a statement on Monday (31).

It’s a continuing saga in Sri Lanka that successive governments try to continuously suppress the media and the nation ranks very low on the Press Freedom Index.


MPC in their statement said 39 Tamil journalists and media persons have either been killed or disappeared as they continue to fight seeking justice for this. Such killing and persons going missing has been happening during the war and after the brutal war came to an end in May 2009.


Expressing their solidarity with their Sinhala journalists brethren, the MPC says the oppression and violence against the Tamil journalists even after the end of the war has now extended and unleashed against their Sinhala journalists brethren.

The statement points out such oppression against journalists peaked during the ‘Aragalaya’ protest against the government in the capital Colombo and now it is severely pursued against the Tamil journalists in the North and East and their Sinhala journalists brethren in the south.

“The attack and arrest of journalist Tharindu Uduwaragedara by the police is one such form of suppression. Those in power should understand that such continued things can’t be justified”.

Tharindu Uduwaragedera a freelance journalist and a member of the Sri Lanka Young Journalists federation was arrested while he was involved in newsgathering a during protest jointly organized by the trade unions on 28.7.2023.


The MPC says they don’t look at the brutal assault and arrest of Tharindu Uduwaragedera as being accidental. “This is a planned attack by the police” they say.


By creating obstructions to journalist Uduwaragedera continuously by the security agencies and those in power, media freedom in Sri Lanka has come under question time and again.

Sri Lanka ranks at 135 among 180 countries in this year’s World Press Freedom index by the Reporters Sans Frontiers-a global organization working for the safeguarding the right to press freedom.

MPC further adds they understand the journalists assaulted and arrested by the police are presented before the Judicial Medical Officer only after some hours.

Now, Tharindu Uduwaragedera has been admitted to the Accident and Emergency ward at the Colombo National Hospital on the advice of the Judicial Medical Officer. However, both his hands have been handcuffed according the statement of the MPC.

“We strongly condemn the action of the Sri Lanka Police who not only assaulted a journalist but continue to treat him in violation of his fundamental freedom”.

New York based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has demanded his immediate release.

“Sri Lankan authorities should immediately and unconditionally release journalist Tharindu Uduwaragedara and investigate allegations that he was beaten by police”.

Terming his arrest as appalling, CPJ has called upon the authorities to ensure that journalists can cover protests without fear of reprisal.

Tharindu Uduwaragedara runs a political affairs YouTube channel called Satahan Radio with over 170,000 subscribers.




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