Friday, December 04, 2009

Telephone threats drive another journalist out of the country

President, Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association (SLWJA) and investigative journalist Poddala Jayantha had reportedly left the country with his wife and daughter following continuous telephone threats received by him.

Poddala Jayantha was abducted, brutally attacked and then dumped in a drain unconscious on June 1, 2009. He was the Secretary of the SLWJA at the time. No proper investigation has yet been conducted into the attack.

Poddala Jayantha’s committee was unanimously appointed as office bearers of the SLWJA making him President at the Association’s AGM on October 14. Soon afterwards, he started to receive continuous phone calls from an unknown person who kept saying Poddala Jayantha would be murdered if he did not remain silent as warned. The caller had also threatened to kill his family if he informed the police about the phone calls.

Understanding the severe threat he was in, several members of the diplomatic corps had made arrangements for Poddala Jayantha to leave the country within 36 hours.

A human rights lawyer on the basis of anonymity told Lanka News Web that the action taken by the diplomatic corps to relocate Poddala Jayantha and his family indicated the acceptance of the international community of the political instability currently prevailing in the country.

© Lanka News Web

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