Thursday, April 17, 2008

0774 343791

Free Media Movement Treasurer receives threats and asked to pay ransom

18th April 2008, Colombo, Sri Lanka: The Free Media Movement (FMM) is appalled to place on record that its Treasurer, journalist K. Rushangan, has received threats demanding the payment of a ransom before 25th April 2008.

K. Rushangan is the Editor of the Tamil language news and information website and the Tamil journal Saamadana Nokku (Peace Monitor) published by the Center for Policy Alternatives. He also edited the Tamil language daily Thinakkahir published in Batticaloa from 2000-2002.

On Sunday, 13th April at around 4pm, a person who claimed to be “Ealaventhan” from the LTTE demanded that Rushangan handed over a motorbike or the cash equivalent of 1,500 US Dollars. The first deadline given was 16th April. The phone number registered on Rushangan's mobile phone was 0774 343791. This phone number is still accepting incoming calls. When Rushangan refused to pay saying that he is not in a position to do so, the caller threatened to abduct the journalist.

Though Rushangan lodged a complaint at the Dehiwala Police on 16th April, no one has been questioned or arrested by the Police to date, a situation the FMM finds wholly unacceptable in light of the seriousness and urgency of the situation.

The FMM does not have any information on the reasons for or the persons behind these threats. However, given the impunity with which extrajudicial killings and abductions take place in Sri Lanka today, the FMM hold the Police responsible for the safety and security of Rushangan and urge them to take immediate action to bring the culprits to book.


aljuhara said...

I wonder, what does Dialog Inc have to say regarding people using its network for violence? the usual "hear no evil" or are they adopting a "wait and see" approach....? Ive seen many times where they could act with more responsibility but they dont. But then I guess its for the Law Enforcement to give the first order...

Anonymous said...

nows the chance for those jobless teenagers out there to send in all those valentine messages, spam and wierd grafics

David Blacker said...

That phone's probably lying in a dustbin somewhere. It's still ringing 'cos the battery's still charged. It'll probably be prepaid phone card too, so Dialog won't know the name of the user.

Anonymous said...

The phone rang and was picked up this morning by someone. There is a recording with the FMM to prove this, so it's clearly not in a dustbin somewhere.

Each phone transmits a unique IMEI number from which it is possible to use triangulation to locate its approximate geographical position, whether it is a pre-paid or post-paid SIM. It's just a case of the Police simply not being bothered to do anything about it, caught up as they are perhaps with the JVP's vehicular antics of late...

David Blacker said...

OK, I just dialled the number and got an unavailable message. Well the police would have to be listening to a conversation for a particular length of time to locate said geographical location of phone (IF the Dehiwela cops even have the kit for this, which I doubt). My point was that Dialog can do little or nothing as far as I can see.

Anonymous said...

"the police would have to be listening to a conversation for a particular length of time to locate said geographical location of phone"??!!

Doh. Nonsense. Dialog (and any mobile operator) can locate any phone on its network as long as it is switched on. Apple's iPhone and iTouch have made this common in the US, plenty of services in the UK that does this across networks and the technology is quite simple. Scary shit, but simple.

"My point was that Dialog can do little or nothing as far as I can see."

I guess you don't see far enough without a scope? :-)

Listening into conversations is so old school dude. Point is, if the Police wanted to do something about this, with the help of Dialog they could.

But I guess they have more important things to worry about - like attempting to abduct journalists themselves!!