Afrique Ameriques Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Sri Lanka 29 April 2005

Editor of TamilNet murdered in Colombo

Reporters Without Borders is revolted at the murder of Dharmeratnam Sivaram "Taraki", editor of the news website TamilNet and Daily Mirror columnist. Four men abducted the well known journalist on 28 April and he was found dead the following morning.

Sivaram, 46, had often told friends that he feared for his safety. "My life is in serious danger," he told Reporters Without Borders in May 2004 after police raided his house and some pro-government media accused him of being a spy for the Tamil Tigers.

He was targeted because of uncompromising coverage of the political and military situation, particularly since the emergence of the pro-government Tamil militia headed by Colonel Karuna.

Reporters Without Borders said Sri Lanka’s authorities were guilty of failing to combat impunity in past cases of murders of journalists. In several reports, it had shown that the government, headed by Chandrika Kumaratunga, has protected killers of journalists, particularly Tamil militia of the EPDP, elements in the presidential guard and members of Col. Karuna’s Tamil militia.

The organisation called on the government to now do everything possible to ensure the killers and those who sent them were identified, arrested and put on trial.

"The premeditated murder of one of the most renowned Tamil journalists is a huge loss for Sri Lanka’s press. Through his website that was visited by tens of thousands of people daily, he provided essential news on the situation in the country," it said.

"Whatever one may think of his relations with the Tamil Tigers movement, Sivaram, was a brilliant journalist", the worldwide press freedom organisation added.

Four men travelling in a Pajero abducted Sivaram late in the evening on 28 April as he was leaving a Colombo bar with friends, just a few metres from the Bambalapitya police station. Witnesses said the men were speaking Tamil.

(JPEG) His body was found the following morning in the Himbulala district, near the parliament building. Sivaram had been killed by several bullet wounds to the head and he bore the marks of a beating. His wife, Herly Yogaranjini, identified his body which will be taken to his native town of Baticaloa for burial. He had three children aged 10 to 16 years.




In this country
2 June - Sri Lanka
Press freedom activist badly beaten in Colombo, hospitalised
19 May - Sri Lanka
Army holding three doctors who gave information to press
11 May - Sri Lanka
Three foreign journalists expelled from Sri Lanka
7 May - Sri Lanka
Parliamentarian threatens online journalists
5 May - Sri Lanka
Open letter to IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn about loan to Sri Lanka

in the annual report
Sri Lanka - Annual report 2008
Sri Lanka - Annual report 2007
Sri Lanka - Annual report 2006

reports
4 May 2009 - Nepal
Mission report : A call to end violence and impunity
2 April 2009 - Pakistan
Fact-finding visit by Reporters Without Borders to Swat “valley of fear”
16 March 2009 - Afghanistan
Report of fact-finding mission : Press freedom in free-fall in run-up to presidential election
archives

Asia archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives

Asia press releases
3 June - North Korea
Pyongyang judges asked to be lenient with two American journalists
3 June - Afghanistan
US forces arrest a journalist in Khost
3 June - China
“Tank Man” photo displayed outside Chinese embassy in Paris on eve of Tiananmen Square massacre
2 June - China
Blocking of Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Blogger deprives Chinese of Web 2.0
2 June - China
All references to Tiananmen Square massacre closely censored for 20 years