Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Jailed Tissa named for British award

A Sri Lankan journalist serving a twenty year prison sentence is nominated for an international award.

JS Tissainayagam, who is currently on bail, is among 16 international journalists nominated by British Press Awards under International Journalist of the Year.

Journalists from Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Eritrea, Azerbaijan and Burma are among the other nominees.

"Winning a British Press Award is justly seen as the crowning achievement of any journalist's career - and just being shortlisted is to be set among the elite of the profession," a statement issued by the organisers said.

'No life'

The award ceremony is due to held in London on Tuesday.

Tissaianyagam was charged under terrorist laws, of causing disharmony among ethnic communities, and of raising money to fund 'terrorist' activities.

He was given the longest ever jail sentence on a journalist by courts in Sri Lanka who found him guilty.

"Although released on bail, Tissa remains afraid for his life and lives in isolation from his family and friends because of this fear," says one of his colleagues.

"He cannot practice his trade and simply has no life," he added.

© BBC Sinhala

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