Norway26 April 2005
Oslo-resident Tamil journalist victim of death threats and harassment
Reporters Without Borders is very concerned about incitement to murder and other threats against independent Tamil journalist Sethurupan Nadarajah, who is living in Norway.
Fearing for his own and his wife’s safety, the journalist appealed to the worldwide press freedom organisation for help and it has been able to confirm both the truth and the gravity of his claims.
The Tamil journalist has for the past six months been the target of death threats posted on several Danish-based websites hosted in the United States, including www.neruppu.com, as well as receiving threats directly.
Reporters Without Borders has written to the Norwegian minister for Justice and the Police, Odd Einar Dorum, calling for the journalist to be given police protection and for a full investigation into the origin of the telephone and electronic threats against him
The organisation also urged the Danish interior minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen to work to pinpoint the precise origin of the threats.
The website carries a photomontage of Sethurupan with the caption: "Tamil terrorist. Mr Sethu collects money for the journalist Nadesan but uses it for his family. Watch out for this individual".
Sethurupan received an email in Tamil on 25 April 2005 from the address firstname.lastname@example.org, with the message: "We have been collecting information about you. We will soon act against you. We have also informed the LTTE [Tamil Tigers]. You are a very dangerous individual for our liberation struggle. We live in Norway (...) and we are going to eliminate you." The IP address of the computer from which the message was sent has been identified as: 18.104.22.168. It is apparently an Oslo address.
In another worrying incident on 20 April, a Tamil speaker phoned the journalist and threatened his wife, a Sri Lankan nurse who has taken Norwegian nationality, saying: "Where is your wife? We are going to rape and kill her because she is a prostitute."
These death threats were recently relayed by London-based Tamil and pro-Karuna station TBC Radio and on another website www.nitharsanam.net, also based in Denmark and with the same host server, the American company GoDaddy.
Tamil groups who are pro-Karuna - the LTTE rebel chief who broke with the Tamil Tigers - are believed to be behind the death threats. They accuse Sethurupan of belonging to the LTTE and of writing articles in English and Tamil about their activities in Sri Lanka and abroad. In fact, the Tamil journalist is known to be independent and in 2001 he was threatened by LTTE supporters. He is an active member of the Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance (SLTMA) for which he is foreign affairs representative. He currently contributes to a Tamil radio station based in London, runs several websites, including Oslo Voice, and sends regular articles to the media in Sri Lanka.