- receiving and remitting money to and from terrorists (the account in question was the account number for the magazine (North Eastern Monthly published by Rennaissance Publications Ltd.) that was printed with the magazine for readers/subscribers to remit money in advance)
- mintaining communications with terrorists(identified as one K. Gnanakuma in Killinochchi)
- writing and publishing articles critical of the government and security forces designed to incite communal violence. to this end, the following passages were highlighted;
“Providing security to Tamils now will define northeastern politics of the future”
“It is fairly obvious that the government is not going to offer them any protection. In fact it is the state security forces that are the main perpetrators of the killings”
“with no military options the government buys him by offering watered down devolution”
“Such offensives against the civilians are accompanied by attempts to starve the population by refusing them food as well as medicines and fuel with the hope of driving out the people of Vaharai and de-populating it. As this story is been written Vaharai is been subject to intense shelling and aerial bombardment,”
while any writing when taken out of context can be twisted to sound sinister, the exact wording of these phrases with the references to specific locations and actions remove the generalities that allows nuanced inference.
as a voracious follower of the war effort, devouring any and all news items and tid-bits in addition to first hand information from the front lines, i never came across any 'press releases' that indicated "intense shelling and bombardment" during the Vaharai phase (but i do expect it may have happened). i do remember the LTTE launching a barrage of pre-sighted artillery on the lines our boys captured and seeing the pictures displayed on tamilnet.
that being said, all sides in a conflict engage in propoganda. i do not buy the canned releases from the government nor do i pay any attention to tamilnet. however, the law was made clear that any war reporting outside of the parameters set by the Medica Center for National Security will be dealt with. Iqbal Athas of the Sunday Times and Amantha Perera of the Sunday Leader stopped their defence correspondence (one assumes due to the futility of repeating the MCNS line).
i am not well versed in law, that's why we have judges and lawyers. they came to a conclusion that Mr. Tissainayagam is guilty. it is not for me to decide whether he merits a presidential pardon or not as quite honestly, the president can do as he damn well pleases.
i would like to ask that once found guilty, why should a journalist (or any other member of society) be treated differently based on ones profession? (that it happens due to political connections etc. is not the topic here).
draconian they may be, but the prevention of terrorism act was put together, voted on and continued by the people that everyone voted in. to change the laws, change the idiots you send to parliament. only you can do that.
in another context, what Mr. Tissainayagam did would be considered treason for which the standard sentence (recognized by the Geneva conventions) is summary execution. he is receiving treatment that has been denied for every journalist that has died. the latest and greatest of which is Lasantha Wickrematunge. i have no love for his politics, but i do admire his passion and courage and mourn his passing. who made noise for him? who makes noise for him?