Ilankai Tamil Sangam

23rd Year on the Web

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

Tamil Journalists and Media Workers Killed in Sri Lanka

2000 - 2007

by Tamil Creative Writers Association, Canada, May 20, 2008

(1)  On 19th October 2000,  Mylvaganam Nimalarajan, aged 38, well-known journalist and father of three, was shot dead in his own home, through the window of his room, as he wrote a news report. He was the Jaffna correspondent for the Tamil daily Virakesari, the independent Tamil radio station, Sooriyan FM, the popular Sinhala political weekly, Ravaya, the Tamil and Sinhala services of the BBC. He was also the Secretary of the Northern Journalists' Association.

(2)  On 31 May 2004, Mr. Aiyathurai Nadesan was shot dead by unidentified gunmen on a motorbike, while traveling on a motorcycle himself. The Batticaloa police launched an investigation into the killing. However, no suspect has ever been taken to court. Mr. Nadesan (48) was a renowned journalist who was very critical of the Sri Lanka Army and paramilitary groups in his widely read political column in the Sunday edition of the Virakesari.

(3)    On April 29, 2005 Darmaratnam Sivaram  (47), male, editorial board member of TamilNet / around 10:30pm/ abducted by 4 men in a white van in front of the Bambalapitya police station in Colombo, later his body was found near the parliamentary complex with in a high security zone.

(4)    On 29 July, 2005. Arasakumar Kannamuthu (38), male, a newspaper delivery agent for the Batticaloa Eelanatham newspaper shot and killed by unidentified gunmen at Matupola in Kalmunai-Akkaraipattu Road, 50 kilometers south of Batticaloa.

(5)     On August 12, 2005 Tamil broadcaster Relangi Selvarajah and her husband, a political activist, were killed by unidentified gunmen in Colombo on the same day that Lakshman Kadirgamar, Sri Lanka's foreign minister, was assassinated.

(6)    On August 29, 2005. David Selvaratnam (50), a security guard,  Manickam Kamalanathan (49), a proof-reader, Subramaniyam Suthas (29), a computer operator, A.M.F Anas, a visiting employee, all are male / around 6:15pm. / severely injured by unidentified attackers throwing two grenades into the printing office of Tamil-language daily Sudar Oli, Madampitiya Road at Grandpass in Colombo.

(7)   On September 30, 2005 Yogakumar Krishnapillai (38), male, a distributor of the Batticaloa-Eelanatham newspaper / around 7:30am / shot and killed by two unidentified gunmen in Batticaloa.

(8)    On 24 January,  2006  35-year old Subramaniam Sugirtharajan, a father of two and a correspondent for "Sudar Oli," a Tamil-language was shot and killed at his residence  located along the Lower Road facing the Trincomalee harbor in the suburb of Orr's Hill in Trincomalee He was waiting for transport to his workplace.

(9)    On May 02, 2006. a gang of five men armed with T-56 automatic rifles entered the Uthayan office at about 7.25 p.m. and began firing. Marketing manager Bastian George Sagayathas, 36, also known as Suresh, was the first killed. Circulation supervisor S. Ranjith, 25, was killed when he raised his head to see what was happening to Uthayakumar. He was held down and shot dead.

(10)      On May 03, 2006 Suresh Kumar and Ranjith Kumar were killed on May 3, as journalists gathered in Colombo to celebrate Press Freedom Day this year.

(11)      On July 2, 2006 freelance journalist Sampath Lakmal de Silva was shot dead by an unknown group.

(12)      On July 27, 2006 Mariathas Manojanraj, 23, a distributor of Yarl Thinakural and Veerakesari, was killed in a claymore explosion on Rasa Road, near Nilavarai Deep well on his way from Atchuvely to Jaffna.  Manojanraj was riding a motorbike to collect Thursday issues of the papers from the Jaffna Thinakkural office for distribution in Atchuvely when the explosion occurred, sources said. The claymore mine was triggered by remote-control device and occurred in an isolated area in Navakeeri close to the Ellalan Community Center, sources said.

(13)      On August 12, 2006 Relangi Selvarajah and her husband were shot dead by unknown gunmen in Bambalapitiya.

(14)     On August 15, 2006   Sathasivam Baskaram Driver/Distributor Uthayan Newspaper in Jaffna was shot and killed.

(15)      On August 21, 2006. Sinnathamby Sivamaharajah (68), male, managing director of Tamil-language daily "Namathu Eelanadu, chairman of the Multi-Purpose Co-opeative Society (MPCS) in Tellippalai, Jaffna, former member of parliament for the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) / around 7:20pm/ shot and killed at temporary residence in Tellippalai, 14 kilometers northeast of Jaffna.

(16)     On February 27, 2007  S. T. Gananathan (64), male, president of the Jaffna Multi Purpose Co-Operative Society /  shot dead 200 meters from the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) camp at Mampalam junction in Ariyalai.

(17)     On April 16, 2007 Subash Chandrabose, 32, editor of the Tamil monthly Nilam, was gunned down late Monday at his residence in  Thirunavatkulam in  Vavuniya, 260 kilometres north of Colombo, the rights group said. Chandrabose also freelanced for other publications including the London-based magazine Tamil World. The FMM, which consists of journalists and rights activists, said it was 'appalled by this killing.'

(18)    On April 29, 2007 Selvarajah Rajivarman (25), male, journalist of Jaffna's 'Uthayan' newspaper / around 10am/  shot and killed by gunmen riding on a motorbike at Naavalar Road, Rasaavin Thoaddam junction in Jaffna.

(19)      On  August 01,  2007  Nilakshan Sahapavan, a 22-year-old student at the Jaffna University Media Research and Training Centre and the editor of Calare, was killed by unidentified gunmen.