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Last updated: 16 February, 2010 - Published 17:43 GMT
 
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Opposition journalist released
 
Chandana Sirimalwatta in front of Gangodawila magistrate court after the release (photo: Lanka Truth)
Mr. Sirimalwatta, who says his arrest amounts to political vengeance, vowed to continue his journalism

A court in Sri Lanka has ordered the police to release the editor of Irida Lanka newspaper, who was detained under emergency regulations.

Gangodawila magistrate Anura Kumara Herath ordered police Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to release Chandana Sirimalwatta

The police were unable to furnish evidence to file charges against the journalist after lengthy investigations.

Irida Lanka is a Sinhala weekly aligned with Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) that supported the candidature of General Sarath Fonseka.

 I worked to protect the public's right to information. I was arrested on 29 January and reportedly detained under a detention order (DO) but I came to know about the DO only on 12 February
 
Chandana Sirimalwatta

Expressing his gratitude to fellow journalists and the public for extending their support, Mr. Sirimalwatta, who was in detention since 29 January, pledged to continue his work without undermining his professional dignity.

The CID officers treated him well, he said, but his arrest amounted to a political vengeance.

"I worked to protect the public's right to information. I was arrested on 29 January and reportedly detained under a detention order (DO) but I came to know about the DO only on 12 February," he said.

The editor said it seems the detention order has been withdrawn by the authorities.

 
 
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