Indian journalist held in Sri Lanka

Prabhakaran was charged with video-taping an army camp in the northern province of Sri Lanka.

    Indian journalist held in Sri Lanka
    Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa has taken a hard-line against the Tamil minorities [Reuters]

    A visiting journalist and documentary film-maker from the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu has been arrested by Sri Lankan security forces in northern Kilinochchi district.

    Lankan Tamil National Alliance member of parliament S Sritharan said there was no news of the journalist, Prabhakaran, after he was picked up on charges of videotaping an army camp, reports said on Friday.

    Sri Lankan authorities said Prabhakaran had arrived in the country on a tourist visa, implying he had no permission to undertake any journalistic work.

    He was reportedly doing a documentary on the state of the island nation’s Tamil population, which has been hit badly after the defeat of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009.

    In Colombo, police spokesman Ajith Rohana was quoted as saying that Prabhakaran was arrested for video-taping a military camp and buildings devastated by the civil war.

    Visa violation

    Rohana said the journalist had been handed over to immigration authorities as he had violated visa rules, the reports said.

    Sritharan who was accompanying Prabhakaran said the journalist was his friend and both of them along with other councillors of the northern province were travelling through the Kilinochchi province, the Times of India said, quoting the MP.

    Kilinochchi town was the administrative capital of the LTTE until early 2009 when they were defeated by Lankan forces.

    Sritharan said there was no way an army camp could be video-taped as they were not accessible to anyone, according to the Times report.

    The northern MP reportedly alleged that Prabhakaran had been manhandled by army authorities during the arrest.

    After decades of fighting, the Lankan conflict came to an end in 2009 with the LTTE’s defeat.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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