Journalists protest colleague's slaying

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 25 October 2000, 14:37 GMT]
Over six hundred Sri Lankan journalists protested Wednesday against the brutal slaying of Jaffna based reporter Mylvaganam Nimalarajan allegedly by pro-government militiamen. The picket, conducted by the Free Media Movement, Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance and other media institutions in Colombo took place opposite Fort Railway Station for about one and a half hours commencing from 12 noon. Meanwhile, other correspondents say they have been threatened in the wake of the killing.

Picketers demanded that the government conduct an impartial inquiry and bring the culprits before a court of law.

journalist-demo_251000.jpgParliamentarians from the main opposition United National Party, Tamil United Liberation Front, Jathika Vimukthi Peramuna and Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO) participated in the protest. Leaders from the Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) and People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) also participated in this protest.

The TELO, PLOTE and EPRLF all have paramilitary sections which fight alongside the Sri Lankan security forces against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP), the largest of the pro-government militias has been blamed for Nimalarajan's killing by the other Tamil groups and journalists.

The reporter had written several reports critical of the EPDP's dubious practices during the recent Parliamentary elections. The EPDP, which secured 4 seats is part of the new coalition government, has been accused of ballot box stuffing, as well as violence against other parties and intimidation of voters.

Meanwhile, other correspondents in Jaffna have received death threats, sources said.

journalist-demo_vavu_241000.jpg

Protest march held in the northern town of Vavuniya on Tuesday, 24 October 2000.


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