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Tamil journalist to go on fast against LTTE intimidation

In a rare challenge to the LTTE, a young editor of a London-based Tamil monthly is to go on an indefinite fast in protest against the seizure of copies of the publication and the intimidation of its sellers in Switzerland.

Poopalasingham Seevagan, the editor of "Vaan Murasu", had lodged a formal complaint to the LTTE's representatives in London and warned that as a professional journalist, he would not hesitate to take any action to uphold his professional rights, if the LTTE did not ask its men to stop intimidating him.

"Since no reply was received from the LTTE by the deadline I had stipulated, I have decided to sit on a fast in front of the LTTE's office in London," Mr.Seevagan said.

According to Mr.Seevagan, the LTTE was disturbed by the fall in the circulation of "Eela Murasu" ever since "Vaan Murasu" with its independent and analytical news reports,appeared on the stands throughout Europe.Most Tamil publications in Europe tended to toe the LTTE line uncritically, and when the "Vaan Murasu" appeared, it was like a breath of fresh air for many Tamils in Europe.The "Vaan Murasu" has a circulation of 20,000.

Mr.Seevagan,who also works for the independent Tamil Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) in London, was earlier in Colombo with " Virkesari","Dinakural" and BBC's "Tamil Osai".

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