Ilankai Tamil Sangam

24th Year on the Web

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

34 Journalists and Media Workers Killed

During present government rule

by The Sunday Leader, Colombo, Sunday, July 26, 2009

It is in this context JDS reports with anger and great sadness that 34 journalists and media workers have been killed with no recourse to justice since the present government was formed. Out of 34 killed three were Sinhala journalists, one Muslim and 30 were from the Tamil community. A complete list of all journalists is attached below.

 

D. Sivaram, 'Taraki,' April 28, 2009

Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) express its serious concern that even after the government’s declaration of war victory and end of war, intimidation and harassment of media and journalists continue with increasing ferocity. People of Sri Lanka are deprived of their right to information and media and journalists are forced to practice an unprecedented level of self censorship.

It is in this context JDS reports with anger and great sadness that 34 journalists and media workers have been killed with no recourse to justice since the present government was formed. Out of 34 killed three were Sinhala journalists, one Muslim and 30 were from the Tamil community. A complete list of all journalists is attached below.

In addition, 10 journalists and media workers were abducted. Journalist Jeyaprakash Tissainayagam, his printer Vetrivel Jesiharan and Jesiharan’s wife Vadivel Valarmathi remain in custody since their arrest over a year ago. These killings and abductions clearly demonstrate the culture of impunity that prevails in Sri Lanka.

The United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government came into power in April 2004 with the present President Mahinda Rajapakse as its prime minister. Never before in the history of Sri Lanka have such a number of journalists and media workers been killed in such a short period of time.

During the same period, intimidations and threats against journalists and media increased unabated. This situation resulted in more than 50 journalists leaving Sri Lanka fearing persecution: Austria 01; Australia 03; Canada 03; Denmark 01; France 12; Germany 04; India 05; Malaysia 01; Netherlands 02; Nepal 02; Norway 02; Switzerland 16; UK 10; USA 02.

JDS supports the 11 point plan put forward by International Press Freedom Mission to redress the perilous press freedom environment in Sri Lanka and pledges to work with all democratic forces within and outside the country to achieve human and democratic rights for all peoples in Sri Lanka.

JDS calls upon the United Nations, governments and other international organisations to put pressure on the government of President Rajapakse by taking all practical means at their disposal to end the culture of impunity and to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice.

Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) is an action group of journalists, writers, artists and human rights defenders who fled persecution in their country and convened in Europe in order to campaign for democracy, human rights and media freedom in Sri Lanka.

Executive Committee

Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka

Annex:

RECORDED LIST OF KILLINGS OF
JOURNALISTS AND MEDIA WORKERS

APRIL 2004 - MARCH 2O09 

2004

1.  Aiyathurai A. Nadesan - Journalist / 31 May

2.  Kandaswamy Aiyer Balanadaraj - Writer / 16 August

3. Lanka Jayasundera - Photo journalist/ 11 December

2005

4. Dharmaratnam Sivaram - Editor / 28 April

5. Kannamuttu Arsakumar - Media worker/ 29 June

6.  Relangee Selvarajah - Journalist / 12 August

7.  D. Selvaratnam - Media worker/ 29 August

8. Yogakumar Krishnapillai - Media Worker / 30 September

9. L. M. Faleel (Netpittimunai Faleel) - Writer / 02 December

10. K. Navaratnam - Media worker/ 22 December

2006

11. Subramaniam Suhirtharajan - Journalist / 24 January

12. S. T. Gananathan - Owner / 01 February

13. Bastian George Sagayathas - Media worker / 03 May

14. Rajaratnam Ranjith Kumar - Media worker / 03 May

15. Sampath Lakmal de Silva - Journalist / 02 July

16. Mariadasan Manojanraj - Media worker/ 01 August

17. Pathmanathan Vismananthan - Singer and musician / 02 August

18. Sathasivam Baskaran - Media worker / 15 August

19. Sinnathamby Sivamaharajah - Media owner / 20 August

2007

20. S. Raveendran - Media worker / 12 February

21. Subramaniam Ramachandran - Media personnel / 15 February

22. Chandrabose Suthakar - Journalist / 16 April

23. Selvarasah Rajeevarman - Journalist / 29 April

24. Sahadevan Neelakshan - Journalist / 01 August

25.  Anthonypillai Sherin Siththiranjan - Media worker/ 05 November

26. Vadivel Nimalarajah - Media worker/ 17 November

27. Isaivizhi Chempian (Subhajini) - Media worker/ 27 November

28. Suresh Limbiyo - Media worker/ 27 November

29. T. Tharmalingam - Media worker/ 27 November

2008

30. Paranirupesingham Devakumar - Journalist / 28 May

31. Rashmi Mohamad - Journalist / 06 October

2009

32. Lasanntha Wickrematunge - Editor / 08 January

33. Punniyamurthy Sathyamurthy - Journalist / 12 February

34. Sasi Mathan - Media worker/ 06 March