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CPA threatened over ‘treason’ – report

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 2 June 2009 21:24 No Comment]

The Colombo-based liberal think tank, Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), has received a threat accusing it of treason, Reuters reported Tuesday. A letter titled "Notice to the Traitors" left at CPA’s office talked about the military victory over the Tamil Tigers last month and warned the CPA to shut its offices for a week in salute to fallen Sri Lankan soldiers.

"That is through the dedication of the present government, fearless military commanders and heroic warriors born in our motherland. And also, through the sacrifice of their bones, flesh and streams of blood," said a copy of the letter provided by CPA to Reuters.

"This (victory) was achieved by defeating the activities of the wretched traitors like you who commit evil acts against Mother Lanka," the letter said.

It warned the CPA to shut down for a week to honour the fallen.

It also demanded that the National flag should be displayed in the CPA premises along with a banner acknowledging the military victory, the Daily Mirror reported.

CPA Director Paikasothy Saravanamattu told Reuters he had reported the letter to police and the office of President Mahinda Rajapakse.

"We will continue to do our normal work, because we are not doing anything illegal," he said.

Dr. Saravanamuttu told the Daily Mirror that the CPA office will be closed on June 3, in view of the road closures due to the military parades and that the organization was concerned for the safety and security of its employees.

Since the declaration of victory on May 18, anger from government backers has been directed at Sri Lankan journalists and activists seen as having supported the Tigers, Reuters reported.

The threat to the CPA comes a day after a prominent critic of the government, Podala Jayantha, the Secretary of Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association (SLWJA) in Nugegoda in Colombo, was abducted and heavily assaulted, before being thrown out of an unmarked van.

Although employed by the state-owned media group Lake House, Jayantha was a leading organizer of demonstrations against the Rajapakse regime’s stifling of media freedom launched by five media organizations including SLWJA, Free Media Movement, Ceylon Tamil Journalists’ Association.

[Full Coverage]

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