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Sri Lankan president pardons convicted local editor

Journalist had written about plight of Tamils.

Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday pardoned journalist Jeyaprakash Tissainayaga who had received a 20-year prison term on charges of supporting terrorism and inciting communal disharmony.

The editor of the North-Eastern Monthly magazine and a columnist for the Sunday Times in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo had written about the plight of the minority Tamil ethnic group during the country's 37-year civil war. He was convicted in March 2008 under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act but has been out of prison on bail pending appeal since January this year.

The external affairs minister GL Peiris said the timing of the pardon coincided with World Press Freedom Day on Monday.