HR Minister visits detained journalist

The Sunday Times columnist J. S. Tissanayagam, who has been held by the Terrorist Investigation Division of the Police since March 7, had an unexpected visitor last Tuesday Human Rights and Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe.

Samarasinghe confirmed that he had visited the detainee to make sure that he was not being ill treated and told The Island that Tissanayagam, who is permitted visits by his wife and meals from outside had said he was well treated.

``I went to see him to make sure he was alright, the minister said. ``As Human Rights Minister I have made such visits before.

Samarasinghe said that he had requested the police to speedily conclude their investigation.

It is unclear yet whether the journalist is being held under a detention order made by the defence ministry because his family, friends and lawyers are not aware of the service of any papers.

``When his wife inquired at the place of detention in Chaitiya Road, Galle Face, they said they had nothing there, a friend said.

Tissanayagam was running a monthly magazine, Northeast Herald and also had a website, www Five others working for these publications have also been detained.



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