Writers’ Block

Aug 9, 2006 (LBO) – Reporters Without Borders has called on both sides in Sri Lanka’s civil war to see that journalists could continue reporting in areas of fighting, especially in the northeastern town of Muttur, and criticised them for refusing to allow the media into these zones. “We know some parts of the country have become very dangerous because of the war but the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) must not in any circumstances use this as an excuse to stop local and foreign media moving around and investigating the true situation in the east and north of the country,” the worldwide press freedom organisation said.

RSF said it would appeal to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) to provide facilities for journalists there.

“Hundreds of civilians have been killed and it is vital that each side allows relief workers and journalists to work freely in these areas,” it said. “We have to know what has happened in Muttur and other places.”

Since fighting broke out in the Trincomalee area, several Sri Lankan and foreign journalists have been barred from strategic towns, including Muttur, by the Sri Lankan army, which has also kept them out of rebel-controlled areas that are now inaccessible by land.

The rebels have shown no interest in al