Media Communiqué on Election-related Violence
Eastern Provincial Council Election – 2008
8th May 2008 – 16.30 – Media Communiqué 1
CMEV has been informed that journalists for the Associated Press were refused entry into Batticaloa town at the Valaichinnai military check point and they were also told that they had to leave the Eastern Province. They were informed that they needed permission from the Ministry of Defence to remain in the Eastern Province.
CMEV was also informed that the requirement of Ministry of Defence permission to remain in the Eastern Province was confirmed to them by General Palitha Fernando at the Minstry of Defence. Subsequently they were informed that they could remain.
CMEV spoke to Gen Fernando who stated that there was no restriction on journalists with Department of Information accreditation entering the Eastern Province and that for reasons relating to their security, restrictions would only apply to foreign tourists and visitors entering the Eastern Province over the next three days.
CMEV calls upon the authorities to facilitate the fullest media coverage to accredited journalists to cover the Eastern Provincial Council election and to ensure that this is clearly communicated to authorities in the three districts of the Eastern Province. We further call upon the Elections Commissioner and his officials to ensure this.
DR.PAIKIASOTHY SARAVANAMUTTU MR. UDAYA KALUPATHIRANA MS. SEETHA RANJANI
CO – CONVENOR CO – CONVENOR CO – CONVENOR