Jaffna journalists fast to mark colleague’s murder

[TamilNet, Friday, 17 October 2003, 11:30 GMT]
“Today we see those who murdered Nimalarajan walking about freely. Investigations into his foul murder have been going on for long without any progress. But none of his murderers have been brought to book. We have no faith in Sri Lanka’s system of justice”, said Mr. Velupillai Thavachelvam, President of the Jaffna Journalists’ Association, addressing a protest fast Friday in the northern town to mark the third death anniversary of Mr. Mylvaganam Nimalarajan, the well-known Jaffna journalist.

Mr. Nimalarajan was shot dead while at work in his home in a highly secured part of Jaffna town on the night of 19 October 2000. Colleagues and rights activists say that his killers could not have carried out the murder inside this security zone without the knowledge of Sri Lanka army sentries near Mr. Nimalarajan’s home.

Evidence indicating the involvement of the EPDP, a paramilitary group closely allied to President Chandrika Kumaratunga, surfaced during prolonged Police investigations into the journalist’s murder. Warrants were issued by the Jaffna district court for the arrest of key suspects in the murder, all members of the EPDP.

The Police, however, is yet to arrest any one of them.

About hundred sat in the protest fast Friday, blocking the entrance to the Department of Information at the Jaffna District Secretariat. Tamil National Alliance politician, Mr. Suresh Premachandran, also took part in the fast.

Speaking about the problems faced by Tamil journalists in the northeast, Mr. Thavachalvam said that Sri Lanka’s Media Ministry says nothing when Tamil journalists are attacked. “It is a manifestation of the ministry’s ethnic bias”, he said.


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