Douglas Devananda, a minister in Mahinda Rajapaksa's cabinet and the leader of the paramilitary-cum-political party Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP), has publicly warned the editor of Yarl Thinakural K. Vamathevan and its administrative manager A. Nadarajah for having published front page news on the attack on Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) candidate Ankajan, stating that the reporting has negatively affected election propaganda for his party besides damaging his reputation. Douglas Devananda openly threatened that Vamathevan and Nadarajah will not be able to go for work Friday if they fail to apologize to him at a press meet he held for the local media in Jaffna Srithar Theatre Thursday morning. The open threat by Devananda to the lives of the news editor and the reputed manager of the Jaffna daily has created fear and panic among the media persons in Jaffna peninsula.
The threat to media persons Thursday comes on the day President Mahinda Rajapaksa visits Jaffna to engage in election propaganda.
Minister Douglas Devananda further accused Yarl Thinakural editor and administrative manager for "purposely misreporting" the Thursday early morning attack and claimed that it was SLFP candidate Ankajan’s group that had opened fire on and burnt the vehicle of Jaffna Mayor Ms. Patkunam Yogeswary.
The EPDP leader further instructed Yarl Thinakural editor to publish his version of the attack in Friday Yarl Thinakural.
Besides, during the press meet Minister Douglas Devanada phoned the owner of Colombo Thinakural daily Samy and its chief editor Thanabalasingham and spoke to them with the phone speaker on so that the attendees of the press meet could hear the conversation.
Editor Thanabalasingham and owner Samy said that they knew nothing about the said news coverage and added that Yarl Thinakural has been "infiltrated by persons who act on their own".
They further requested Douglas Devananda to "summon the persons involved to Srithar Theatre and warn them", the sources said.
This has caused shock and fear among the media persons in Jaffna and Colombo.
Conflict and clashes between the SFLP candidates and EPDP candidates contesting Jaffna electorate have begun to surface frequently in Jaffna peninsula.
Douglas Devananda, who is allocated 8 seats by the Colombo Establishment, has become increasingly intolerant to the campaign by the SLFP that is contesting with 4 seat allocation. Basil Rajapaksa is actively promoting the SLFP candidates.