skip to main content
Archive stamp

Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Statement on pardoned Sri Lankan journalist

“I welcome President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s pardon of Tamil journalist Jayaprakash Tissainayagam on such an important day as World Press Freedom Day (Monday).

“I hope that this move indicates a change of attitude towards the media in Sri Lanka and signals a new chapter for press freedom, which is such a vital pillar of democracy.”

Background:

1] In 2008, Tamil journalist Jayaprakash Tissainayagam became the first journalist arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act following the publication of articles in which he criticized the government’s treatment of Sri Lankan Tamil civilians affected by the war.

In August last year, a court decided his articles broke the law because they were designed to create agitation between the Tamil minority and Sinhala majority and Jayaprakash received a 20-year jail term on charges of “supporting” terrorism.

Jeyaprakash appealed the ruling, and was granted bail in January this year pending the outcome of his appeal.

2] Jean Lambert, the Green Party MEP for London, is the Chair of the South Asian delegation in the European Parliament.