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Sri Lanka 16 February 2007

Tamil newspapers correspondent goes missing in the North

Reporters Without Borders voiced deep concern today about the disappearance last night of Subramaniam Ramachandran, the correspondent of the Tamil dailies Thinakural and Valampuri in the Vadamaradchi region north of Jaffna. The organisation said it was worried about the cruel lack of protection for media personnel in this region.

“Alarming acts of violence against journalists and human rights activists are taking place in areas controlled by the government,” the press freedom organisation said. “Everything must be done to locate and save Ramachandran.”

Aged 37 and the father of two, Ramachandran went missing in Karaveddy (a village in the Vadamaradchi region) after leaving the Arasady school, which he runs, and setting off for home by bicycle. No information is available about the reason for his disappearance or the identity of those responsible. Some human rights organisations said he could have been kidnapped by a pro-government militia after receiving many death threats.

The newspaper Thinakural described Ramachandran as a “correspondent full of energy.” He had been working for the two Tamil-language dailies since 2002.

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