Journalist J.S. Tissainayagam has flown to the United States and arrived at Washington’s Dulles International Airport last morning, the Committee to Protect Journalist said. Tissainayagam had been released on bail in January and had lived in seclusion in Sri Lanka since.
According to CPJ representative Kamel Labidi, who was on hand to meet Tissa in the US, “He was all smiles, and said to thank everyone who helped him gain his freedom.”
“Tissainayagam’s arrival in the United States is very welcome news, and we join in the joy that he and his wife Ronnate are feeling,” said Joel Simon, CPJ’s executive director. “We hope his arrival in the U.S. is a step by the government to address its harsh policies toward the media—policies that have not changed since the end of Sri Lanka’s more than 30 years of civil conflict.”
On May 3, World Press Freedom Day, the government announced that it would grant Tissainayagam a presidential pardon. Tissainayagam had been released on bail in January and had lived in seclusion in Sri Lanka since. The Tamil editor was first jailed in March 2008 and eventually indicted under the Prevention of Terrorism Act in August 2008. (Daily Mirror online)