Journalists Killed  |  Sri Lanka

Dharmeratnam Sivaram

TamilNet and Daily Mirror

April 29, 2005, in Colombo, Sri Lanka


Sivaram was abducted on the night of April 28 and found dead the next morning from gunshot wounds to the head.

Four unidentified men forced Sivaram into a jeep as he left a restaurant directly across from the Bambalapitya police station in the capital, according to witness accounts. Police told The Associated Press that they received an anonymous call early the next morning giving the location of Sivaram's body in Talangama, several miles outside of Colombo. The TamilNet news Web site reported that his body was found in a high-security area behind a parliament building.

A founding member and contributor to TamilNet and a military and political columnist for the English language Daily Mirror, Sivaram wrote sympathetically about the rebel group the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Police searched his house twice last year looking for weapons but did not find anything.

The LTTE split into two warring factions in 2004 after a rebel leader known as Colonel Karuna broke away to form his own rival army in eastern Sri Lanka. A cycle of violence has escalated from the east throughout the country, with the warring Tamil factions going on killing sprees that target each other's alleged supporters, including journalists.

A pro-LTTE Tamil lawmaker, Amirthanathan Adaikkalanathan, told The Associated Press that Sivaram's last article for the Tamil-language daily Virekasari criticized the rebel leader Karuna. Sivaram had received death threats in recent weeks, according to exiled Tamil journalists.


Medium: Print, Internet

Job: Columnist / Commentator

Beats Covered: Politics, War

Gender: Male

Local or Foreign: Local

Freelance: No

Type of Death: Murder

Suspected Source of Fire: Government Officials

Impunity: Yes

Taken Captive: Yes

Tortured: No

Threatened: Yes


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