Senior journalist J.S. Tissainayagam — who is out on bail after he was convicted on August 31 last year and sentenced to 20 years in jail – has been granted a pardon by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, External Affairs Minister G.L Peiris said yesterday.

“The President has taken this decision in view of yesterday’s World Press Freedom Day,” Prof. Peiris said and added that the decision to pardon Mr. Tissanayagam coincided with the discussion on the need to amend the emergency regulations.

Mr. Tissainayagam was found guilty on charges relating to the printing, editing and circulating the North Eastern Monthly magazine;

collecting money to run the magazine and inciting communal disharmony. He was arrested in March 2008 when he visited his colleague and publisher V. Jasikaran who was being detained at the Terrorist Investigation Department. Mr. Tissainayagam was released on bail in January this year.

Last September eight media organizations including the Editors Guild of Sri Lanka appealed to the president to pardon Mr. Tissainayagam.

Source: Daily Mirror – 04.05.2010

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