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Sri Lanka 30 August 2005

Watchman badly hurt in grenade attack on Tamil daily

Reporters Without Borders strongly condemned a grenade attack on Tamil daily Sudar Oli on 29 August 2005 in which a watchman at the entrance to the building was seriously injured.

Two grenades were thrown at the building by two assailants who then fled the scene.

"Reporters Without Borders urges all armed political parties and movements to respect press freedom and free expression that are the essential components of any democracy," the worldwide press freedom organisation said.

Sudar Oli has been targeted for several months by nationalist groups that accuse the daily of supporting the Tamil Tigers armed movement (LTTE). Last week, a photo-journalist on the newspaper, Yathurshan Premachchandran, was attacked by militants from the People’s Liberation Front (JVP) who suspected him of being a member of the LTTE.

He was brutally attacked by JVP members as he covered a demonstration that was parading past him. Before beating him they also snatched his camera, mobile phone and wallet.

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