Sri Lanka’s Terrorist Investigation Division arrested J.S. Tissainayagam, the editor of news web site OutreachSL, and today he was sentenced to 20 years in prison under anti-terrorism laws.
The charges against Tissainayagam cite a magazine, North Eastern Monthly, which the journalist edited in 2006. Two charges relate to articles Tissainayagam wrote for the magazine.
The Sri Lankan government said the articles incited communal disharmony, an offense under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. J.S. Tissainayagam, a Sri Lankan Tamil, endured long detention, harsh charges and subsequent sentencing to 20 years in prison for publishing a magazine, which should not constitute an offence.
This is the latest step by the Sri Lankan government to intimidate journalists. Sri Lankan Government Minister denied that Sri Lankan journalist had been jailed for criticizing the government. “Some of his publications were designed to embarrass the Sri Lankan government” Sri Lankan minister said