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Sri Lankan journalist out on bail

A Tamil journalist who had been convicted to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment for his links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was granted bail on medical grounds on Monday, reports Sutirtho Patranobis.

world Updated: Jan 12, 2010 00:34 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

A Tamil journalist who had been convicted to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment for his links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was granted bail on medical grounds on Monday.

Journalist JS Tissainayagam, arrested on March 7, 2008 by the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID), was granted bail on LKR 50, 000 (about $440) by the Courts on medical grounds.

He was ordered to surrender his passport and remain in the country.

Tissainayagam was charged with attempting to cause violence or communal disharmony through a series of articles he wrote and published in the North Eastern Monthly magazine in 2006 and 2007.

He was also charged with collecting and obtaining information to spread terrorism and also with donating funds for terrorism under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). He was the only journalist to have been charged under provisions of the PTA.

In August last year, a court in Sri Lanka had sentenced Tissainayagam to 20 years rigorous imprisonment for arousing “communal feelings” by writing and publishing articles that criticised the government’s treatment of Sri Lankan Tamil civilians affected by the war.