V. Anandasangaree, the Tamil leader who is often portrayed as ‘moderate’, reportedly told the Indian Express newspaper that the Channel 4 news story about deaths and sexual abuses in IDPs camp in Vavunya is a ‘complete hoax’ according to this website. http://www.tothecenter.com/news.php?readmore=9700 However, I couldn’t find the original report from Indian Express website.
Meanwhile, AP has reported three journalists for Channel-4 were arrested by police in Trincomalee on Saturday (9th May), and were taken to Colombo for investigation. The below is the AP report.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankan police arrested three journalists for London-based Channel-4 television news Saturday on charges of tarnishing the image of the government security forces.
Nick Paton Walsh, the channel’s Asian correspondent told the Associated Press by telephone that he had been arrested along with producer Bessie Du and cameraman Matt Jasper.
Walsh said he and the crew were being driven to capital Colombo with police escort. The three had been covering fierce fighting between government forces and the separatist Tamil Tigers.
Police spokesman Ranjith Gunasekera confirmed the trio were arrested in the eastern city of Trincomalee on Saturday. He said investigations are continuing.
Walsh said he believed the arrests were connected to a recent report the crew filed on conditions for war refugees and alleged sexual abuse in camps for those who fled the northern war zone.
The journalists’ arrest came amid growing international concern for an estimated 50,000 civilians caught in the fighting.
Government troops in recent months have ousted the rebels from their strongholds across the north and say they have cornered the Tamil Tigers in a sliver of land just 2.4 miles- (4 kilometers-) long on the northeastern coast.
The rebels have been fighting since 1983 for a separate state for minority Tamils, who have suffered decades of marginalization at the hands of governments controlled by the Sinhalese majority.
Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.