17032015Tue

Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

Pro-opposition Tamil newspaper attacked in Sri Lanka

Journalists working for a pro-opposition Tamil newspaper in Sri Lanka have been assaulted in the latest attack on media organizations seen to be critical of the government.

Six masked men had entered the offices of the Uthayan newspaper in Kilinochchi, northern Sri Lanka on Wednesday morning, beating up two members of staff and damaging property, reports say.

It is the fourth attack this year on Tamil-language newspapers on the Island.

The owner of Uthayan, E Saravanapavan - a parliamentarian for the Tamil National Alliance opposition party - told the BBC the men had been shouting in Sinhala and wielding cricket stumps.

Five staff members suffered injuries in the attack.

The newspaper's office in Jaffna, in the northern Tamil heartland, has come under repeated attack over the years.

A senior Uthayan editor was forced to flee the country after being almost beaten to death in 2011.

Sri Lanka has been described by campaigners as one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists.

Since the end of the country's Civil War in 2009, any criticism of the Mahinda Rajapakse administration has been brutally quashed; scores of journalists have fled the Island, several have disappeared and killed with newspaper offices and presses attacked.

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