Sri Lankan army restricts access to newspaper offices

On May 18, 2014, dozens of Sri Lankan army officers in the city of Jaffna surrounded the offices of Uthayan, a critical Tamil-language newspaper, blocked roads near the newspaper, and denied employees access to the premises, news reports said. The officers also conducted security checks on people headed to the newspaper’s office, according to reports.

The measures were part of a “crackdown in Tamil-dominated areas intended to prevent open demonstrations of grief for the tens of thousands killed during the country’s 26-year civil war,” The New York Times reported, citing a military spokesman.

Uthayan still published a special edition marking the May 18 remembrance day, despite a regional ban on remembrance events to grieve those who were killed or disappeared, according to reports.

Uthayan, which has been critical of the ruling government, has been attacked in the past.