Gruesome Murder of Journalist

Tamil Studies and Human Rights Trust

2153A Great North Road

Avondale

Auckland 1007

Tel : 64 ĘC 9 - 8202113

New Zealand Email : R.Selva@xtra.co.nz

29 April 2005

To All Media and Human Rights Organisations,

GRUESOME MURDER OF JOURNALIST D.SIVARAM (Taraki)

We are deeply grieved at the cowardly and gruesome murder of internationally respected journalist Dharmaratnam Sivaram alias Taraki.  We unreservedly condemn the criminals behind this murder.

Sivaram was a journalist of conviction and courage who did not bow down to money, authority or threat.  He was not a cheap wordsmith who wrote for easy money.

It was well known his life was under threat.  He suffered head injuries when he was assaulted by an armed gang in Batticaloa a few years back.

Police entered his house on more than one occasion on the pretext of search without a Court search warrant.  Probably, as usual, they wanted to introduce weapons or explosives and implicate him under the Terrorism Act.

Having failed, the cowards came in an ash-coloured pajero jeep, forced Sivaram into it near the Bampalapitiya Police Station, took him to the high security Parliament complex area, killed him and dumped his body into the Diyawanna Oya into which many bodies of Tamil youths were dumped some years ago.  These youth were also abducted forcibly on the streets of Colombo.  Those criminals from the Special Task Force are moving about freely.  Perhaps the same criminals or their Tamil collaborator militia groups getting fat monthly paychecks from the Government are behind this murder.  Even a Sarath Nanda Silva in the lonely company of a young lady lawyer in this high security zone could not escape the Police.  It is therefore clear that the Government and its Security Forces and their Tamil collaborators were behind this murder.

Nadarajah Atputharajah, alias Suresh, a journalist and a M.P at that time was killed by armed men near a busy Wellawatta Railway Station in broad daylight.  The criminals are still at large.

Mailvaganam Nimalarajan, the BBC correspondent, was shot dead in his room during curfew hours in a high security area in Jaffna.

In the East journalist Nadesan was shot dead in broad daylight close to the Police Station/Army Camp area.  Intellectuals like Thambiah, Thavarajah and Tamil activists supportive of the Tamil cause are getting killed in areas close to Police Stations or Army Camps in the East.  The criminals behind the Chemmani mass grave are so far safe and free.

These actions expose the hidden agenda of the Government to wipe out journalists, intellectuals and Tamil activists supportive of the Tamil cause.  This Government has no interest in peace.

The Government wants war to escape from the Tsunamic anger of cheated Sinhalese Tsunami victims.  Foreign aid money has gone into the pockets of privilege in seats of power.  The JVP wants war to infiltrate the Armed Services.  Peace is nobody's concern.

The international community cannot be just onlookers of these despicable actions of the slow eradication of the Tamils in Sri Lanka.  It is time for the international community to act with responsibility.

A.Theva Rajan, Coordinator

R.Selvarajah, General Secretary

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Posted May 2, 2005