By Susitha Fernando
Journalist J.S. Tissainayagam granted cash bail of Rs. 50, 000 by the Courts today on medical grounds. He was sentenced to 20 years Rigorous Imprisonment (RI) last year. He was arrested on March 7, 2008 by the Terrorism Investigation Division.
When contacted the Prisons Commissioner told Daily Mirror online that he had still not received the court order to release Tissainayagam.
Tissainayagam was arrested on March 7, 2008 by the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) of the Sri Lanka Police. He was charged with attempting to cause the commission of acts of violence or racial or communal disharmony relating to articles he published in a North Eastern Monthly magazine in 2006 and 2007. He was also charged with collecting and obtaining information for the purpose of terrorism and for donating funds for the purpose of terrorism through the collection of funds for the magazine.
During his trial, Tissanayagam claimed that he was harassed and threatened by the TID while under detention. He has also filed a Fundamental rights petition with the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. The TID have produced a confession allegedly signed by Tissanayagam, although he claimed it was dictated to him, and he was pressured to write it in his own handwriting.
The High Court in Sri Lanka sentenced Tissainayagam to a total of 20 years rigorous imprisonment on Monday 31 August 2009, for arousing "communal feelings" by writing and publishing articles that criticized the government's treatment of Sri Lankan Tamil civilians affected by the war, and for raising money to fund the magazine in which the articles were published.