Toronto-based Tamil newspaper attacked

Uthayan, a weekly Tamil newspaper, had its Toronto office vandalized over the weekend, apparently by people who disliked its reporting on a meeting between Kula Sellathurai, president of the Canada-Sri Lanka Business Council and the United Tamil Council of Canada, and Mahinda Rajapaksa, president of Sri Lanka.

The Globe and Mail reported that Logan Logendralingam, publisher of Uthayan, received a call on his cellphone at 7:30 on Sunday morning referring to the meeting and telling him to go to his office where he would find “a message.”

Reports in the Toronto Star and Thaindian News quoted Sellathurai saying the caller told Logendralingam: “Your friends went and met the president, now you go and see what happened to your store.” Sellathurai and the newspaper publisher are friends, reports said.

Plate glass windows at the front of the newspaper office were smashed. Reports said nothing was taken.

Logendralingam has said that he plans to continue publishing as before.  He stated that “we know the pressures faced by the press in Sri Lanka, but it is especially troubling when these problems are right in our own backyard.”

There have been previous attacks on journalists in the Sri Lankan and Tamil communities in Canada, but these had decreased in previous years.  To learn more about these, read Meena Nallainathan’s article “Staring Down the Tigers”