(December 11, Colombo - Lanka Polity Free Tissa campaign has launched an online petition addressed to the UN General Secretary Ban Ko-Moon and International Governments (United States, Britain, India, Canada, Australia) urging to work for the release of Tamil journalist J.S. Tissainayagam. .
The content of the petition is as follows:
I am deeply concerned about the safety and well-being of Jayaprakash Sittambalam (J.S.) Tissainayagam, a veteran journalist and columnist. On August 31, 2009, a Colombo High Court sentenced Mr. Tissainayagam to 20 years in prison. The charges brought against Mr. Tissainayagam primarily accused him of writings intended to create communal disharmony.
The sentencing of Tissainayagam, named a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International and singled out by President Obama as an example of a persecuted journalist, came amid a growing crackdown on the country's free media. Sri Lanka has seen 14 of its members killed during the current regime's rule and 30 more flee in fear of their lives. Those who seek to report the truth must not be suppressed, threatened or killed.
I am therefore writing to kindly ask you to take the following actions immediately to help safeguard the voice of the press:
1. Ensure the safety and security of Mr. Tissainayagam in jail
2. Work to ensure the immediate release of Mr. Tissainayagam
3. Work to immediately alleviate the current atmosphere of media suppression prevailing in the country - including the threatening, killing and jailing of journalists and media workers
4. Ensure the safety and security of Mr. Tissainayagam after his release
I hope that you will be able to intervene in a timely and effective manner to ensure the safety of Mr. Tissainayagam and of Sri Lanka's independent press.
Click here to sign the petition.