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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2737

Arrested Indian Journalist while video-graphing Military and Naval installations deported

Colombo, 29 December, (Asiantribune.com):

Maha Tamil Prabakaran, journalist from Tamil Nadu who was arrested by Sri Lankan Authorities on 25th December, and held in detention, was deported on Saturday. He arrived at the Chennai airport yesterday evening.

Talking to journalists at the airport, Tamil Prabakaran has alleged that he was subjected to torture by the Terrorist Investigation Department of Sri Lanka.

Earlier, after investigation by the Terrorist Investigation Department of Sri Lanka, he was handed over to the Department of Immigration and subsequently deported to Chennai yesterday.

Maha Tamil Prabakaran, a 24-year-old journalist and documentary filmmaker from Tamil Nadu was arrested on 25th of December, while touring northern Sri Lanka in the company of S. Sritharan, TNA MP for Kilinochchi . He was in Sri Lanka on a tourist visa.

But Sritharan the TNA MP for Kilinochchi who provided transport facilities and was in the company of the Indian journalist was left off the hook.

The Indian Journalist formerly attached to Junior Vikatan a Tamil language magazine published twice a week, was arrested for flouting immigration laws by photographing Army and Naval installations in Jayapuram in the Kilinochchi district, actually located in the western coastal border of the Pooeryn area in the North.

Sri Lankan Police arrested him on charges of video-graphing military and naval installations in an around Nachchikuda in the Pooneryn region located in the North of the country.

The Police Spokesman Ajith Rohana told reporters in Colombo after the arrest of Maha Tamil Prabhakaran as, "An Indian national was arrested in Kilinochchi. He had video-taped a military camps and war devastation of buildings,"

"As he had violated the visa rules, he was handed over to the immigration authorities," he said.

Kilinochchi was the administrative centre of the Tamil Tigers until January 2009 when the Sri Lankan forces recaptured the town.

Maha Tamil Prabhakaran was picked up by the Sri Lankan army when he was touring the region accompanied by Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP S Sritharan and his supporters. When contacted, Sritharan told TOI, " Maha Tamil Prabhakaran is my friend and he was travelling with a group of people, including Northern Province councilors Pasupathipillai, Thayaparan and others. He travelled with us when we went to Veravil, Valaipadu, Kiranchi and Jayapuram in the Kilinochchi district."

Sritharan denied that Maha Tamil Prabhakaran had videographed any army camps , saying no one can enter into any army camps in the island nation. "The world knows how difficult it is to enter an army camp. I met Prabhakaran when I visited Chennai and he called me when he landed here. He was not feeling well for the past two days. Army officials threatened and manhandled him," Sritharan alleged.

Sritharan said the group visited some areas to meet people and inquire about their problems. He said they had not gone to areas where military installations were located.

Maha Tamil Prabhakaran was reportedly attempting to make a documentary on the state of Tamils in Sri Lanka, but he was on a tourist visa and arrived in Colombo on 21st December.

Maha Tamiol Prabhakaran had reportedly first met TNA Parliamentarian S. Shritharan in Chennai in January 2012, when they both attended a literary festival in the state.

He had then arrived in Sri Lanka on a tourist visa on November 13, 2012, spending 24 days in the island.

Maha Tamil Prabhakaran had travelled extensively during his stay, spending time in Colombo, Hatton, Kandy, Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Trincomalee among others.

He had met MP Shritharan during his visit to Kilinochchi, even spending a day at his office before moving on.

Subsequent to this visit, he had written a series of articles regarding his travels in the island which were published in the magazine, Junior Vikatan . These articles contained photographs of security forces personnel and military installations among others. This series of articles was later published as a book under the title Puli Thadam Thedy (Searching for Footsteps of Tigers).

In this book, Maha Tamil Prabhakaran is alleged to have stated that Tamils in Sri Lanka were ‘massacred’ under the cover of so-called ‘Humanitarian Operations,’ and claimed to have visited all the areas where the alleged massacres took place.

According to investigations, Maha Tamil Prabhakaran’s second visit to the country, which commenced on December 21 this year, was directly facilitated by Shritharan.

It is reported that the journalist who again arrived on a tourist visa, was driven around in a vehicle provided by the TNA MP during his stay up until the moment of the former’s arrest.

He had even spent the night at Shritharan’s house in Jaffna and had attended a TNA meeting held at the Vavuniya Urban Council hall on December 24.

On the Christmas Day, he had accompanied the MP in a van to a TNA meeting held in Valaipadu in Pooneryn.

TNA Northern Provincial Councilor S. Pasupathipillai, Karachchi Pradeshiya Sabha member Thayaparan and others were also present at this meeting.

However, instead of attending the meeting, the Indian national had stayed in the van and photographed troops who were on cycle patrol. This had been noted by several soldiers who proceeded to inform the police.

A subsequent search by police officers of the suspect’s camera had revealed images of soldiers on patrol, military installations and their protective fences, others.

He was at once detained and taken to the Jeyapuram police station. He was later handed over to officers from the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) for further questioning.

- Asian Tribune -

Tamil Prabhakaran Deported to Chennai
Arrested Indian Journalist while video-graphing  Military and Naval installations deported
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