Poddala Jayantha, secretary SLWJA abducted and severely assaulted

(June 01, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Poddala Jayantha, General Secretary of Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association was abducted by an unknown group late afternoon today. He was on his way back home form work and abducted some close to Nugagoda town. Some people who have seen him pushed in to a white van alerted the journalists on the abduction.

Later he was found left on the road side by some people. He had been severely assaulted. Later he was admitted to ICU of the Colombo general hospital. Reports say that he is out of danger.

Inspector General of police accused unmanned journalists for obtaining money form the LTTE to campaign for media freedom in Sri Lanka. State controlled TV net work ITN showed visuals of Poddala Jayantha on its segment called After News while repeating the same accusation. On 22nd May editorial of the state controlled Sinhala language daily called for stoning and expelling of so called professional journalists who grow beards. (Poddala Jayantha is known for his beard)

Last few weeks has seen continued attacks on journalists who campaigned for media freedom and justice for abducted and killed journalists in Sri Lanka calling them traitors by various politicians and pro state and state controlled media.

-Sri Lanka Guardian