Assailants wielded cricket bats - witness

* Udayan Kilinochchi office attacked


by Dasun Edirisinghe

The Jaffna-based Udayan newspaper’s Kilinochchi regional distribution office was attacked by an unidentified gang early yesterday morning. Five employees including the branch office manager were injured in the attack. The condition of two victims was serious, according to the newspaper staff.

According to the police, the attack took place around 5.00 am while copies of the newspaper were being unloaded from a lorry by its employees.

"Two of the five workers injured in the attack were admitted to the Kilinochchi District General Hospital," the police said.

The Udayan circulation and collection officer attached to the Kilinochchi office, P. Sukirthan, said that their branch office was located about one kilometre from the Kilinochchi police station and there were army personnel on duty in the town.

Seven persons armed with cricket bats and stumps had assaulted the distributors and then entered the office and damaged its property, Sukirthan said.

All attackers, save one, were wearing masks, he said.

"Our office and equipment including a photocopy machine, printers, computers, two motor cycles and the lorry were damaged," Sukirthan said.

He said that branch manager A. Ponuraja and assistant branch manager Piratheepan had been critically injured, while route supply boy Visvanathan, van driver Sulaxan and himself had suffered minor injuries.

"Our manager Ponuraja is in the ICU with serious injuries to his left hand and leg," Sukirthan said.

Superintendent of the Kilinochchi General Hospital said that all the injured Uthayan workers had been discharged yesterday morning.

Police said that no arrests had been made but investigations were continuing on the directions of DIG Kilinochchi, Kapila Jayasekera.

Military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya said the inquiry was being handled by the police as it was a civil case and the army was not involved in the investigation.


Scene of yesterday’s attack in Kilinochchi

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