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Sri Lanka 22 November 2007

Tamil newspaper’s proof reader missing in Jaffna

Reporters Without Borders is very concerned about the fate of proof reader Vadivel Nimalarajah of the Jaffna-based Tamil daily Uthayan, who has been missing since 17 November. His colleagues think he was kidnapped near the Navalar Road railway as he was cycling home after a night shift as copy editor at the newspaper.

"We urge the authorities to do everything possible to find Vadivel Nimalarajah," the press freedom organisation said. "We fear he may have been abducted like other Tamil journalists, in the past. This incident highlights the terrible plight of journalists in Jaffna."

Another Jaffna journalist, Yarl Thinakural correspondent Subramaniam Ramachandran, went missing in February after writing a report implicating a businessman and military officers in illegal trafficking in sand.

Uthayan’s management thinks that Nimalarajah, 31, is being held at the headquarters of a paramilitary group in Jaffna and that his life could be saved if he government intervened quickly.

Uthayan is very critical of the government and has been targeted by the EPDP, a pro-government militia. Four of its employees have been killed and its premises attacked several times in the past two years.

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