A top editor of the Jaffna-based ‘Uthayan’ newspaper has been brutally attacked and seriously wounded
A top editor of the Jaffna-based ‘Uthayan’ newspaper has been brutally attacked and seriously wounded by unknown armed men on Friday (29) in the heart of the heavily-guarded northern Jaffna town.
According to media sources in Jaffna, the news editor of ‘Uthayan’, Gnanasundaram Kuhanathan (59) was on his way home by foot from the office after work when the two armed men unleashed their brutal attack on him using iron rods and cables.
he was rushed to the Jaffna teaching hospital with serious injuries. The attack has come within a week after the local government election, in which the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) won 18 of the 23 local councils.
Kuhanathan’s house is located within 200 meters from the office and according to eye-witnesses, the assault on him has taken place barely 30 meters away from a military check-point on the Kasturiar road-Navalar road junction.
This is the second attack on Uthayan journalist within the past two months. On May 28, 2011 one of its reporters S. Kavitharan was attacked by armed thugs when he was on his way to work in a similar style of attack.
The attack is the latest in a long line of unsolved provocations against the newspaper, which prides itself on reporting matters that are usually shunned by other news organizations elsewhere in the country.
‘Uthayan’ is the only Tamil tabloid which has not ceased publication in thttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifhe war-ravaged northern peninsula despite a three-decade long civil war, which came to an end in May 2009.
The tabloid newspaper, celebrated its silver jubilee in February this year, has come under attack several times in the previous years and journalists and other staff were killed by paramilitary and other forces.
Kuhanathan survived several attacks in the past, the worst being the attack on ‘Uthayan’ office on 02 May, 2006, a day before the World Press Freedom day.
On that day, an armed gang, believed to be the members of a government backed para military, forced their way into ‘Uthayan’ office at 8.00 pm, calling out for Kuhanathan before spraying volleys of bullet at random.
Kuhanathan narrowly survived in the attack hiding in the washroom, but two ‘Uthayan’ employees were killed and two more wounded in the attack. The wounded are now permanently maimed.
This targeted attack has resulted in Kuhanathan to stay put in the office for several years, fearing persecution.
On 24 January, 2006 ‘Uthayan’s’ Trincomalee reporter, S.S.Suhirtharajan was killed by unknown gunmen after the newspaper published photographs of the five students, who were killed by government forces in a close-range shooting in the eastern port city.
On 15, May, 2006 Uthayan delivery driver named S. Baskaran was killed and another Uthayan journalist S. Rajeevarman was shot dead on 29 April 2007.
No one has been brought to justice to date.
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