Offices of Tamil-language daily attacked in Sri Lanka

Six masked assailants on April 3, 2013, attacked the offices of a Tamil-language newspaper in the town of Kilinochchi in the Northern Province, injuring several employees and damaging equipment, according to news reports.

At around 4:30 a.m., the attackers entered the offices of Uthayan, a pro-opposition daily, and assaulted several employees using poles, the daily’s publisher, E. Saravanapavan, told The Associated Press. Saravanapavan, who is also a parliamentarian with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) opposition party, said at least five of the paper’s employees, including a delivery boy, were injured but did not offer further details. News reports said the assailants damaged computers in the office as well as three office vehicles.

Saravanapavan told the AP that he believed the attack was in connection to articles the newspaper had published that had criticized government forces and a former paramilitary group being stationed in the Northern Province, which was the administrative center and de facto capital of the Tamil Tiger rebels during Sri Lanka’s civil war.

The BBC reported that the police had not made any immediate arrests.

CPJ has documented several attacks on Uthayan in previous years. In July 2011, the daily’s news editor was brutally beaten, and in March 2009, its office was bombed.