The Inter University Students` Federation made a citizens` arrest of three suspected LTTEers at their anti-Akashi demonstration in the Fort on Wednesday. The `suspects` were videoing the demonstration.
The suspects were handed over to Fort Police.
Their suspicions turned out to be unfounded. The Director General of Sri Lanka Press Institute, Ranga Kalansooriya and Secretary of the Professional Journalists` Association Poddala Jayantha rescued the `suspects` at the Fort police station. They told police that the suspects were their students following media courses in the Sri Lanka College of Journalism attached to the Press Institute.
The Free Media Movement later issued a statement condemning the student action.
`FMM condemns the harassment and deplores the allegations made by the students that filming by trainee journalists was a security threat to them. Protesters alleged that the films might be passed over to the LTTE in order to identify the protesters to retaliate. This was a public incident and TV stations were present to film the protest,` the FMM release said.
SLCJ, Sri Lanka College of Journalism is part of the Sri Lanka Media Institute, which has been formed by The Editors Guild of Sri Lanka, The News Paper Society and the Free Media Movement.