Dharmeratnam Sivaram

14 results arranged by date

Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: Tamil newspaper editor killed in Jaffna

New York, August 21, 2006—A Tamil newspaper editor and former member of parliament was killed outside his home on the besieged Jaffna Peninsula late Sunday, international and local media reported. Sinnathamby Sivamaharajah, managing director of the Tamil-language Namathu Eelanadu newspaper was shot dead in Vellippalai. Police are investigating the murder, according to news reports. The motive for the killing is unclear.

Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, two killed in attack on Tamil newspaper

New York, May 2, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns today’s attack on the Tamil-language daily Uthayan. Editor N. Vithayatharan confirmed to CPJ that five masked gunmen killed two employees and wounded at least two others, one seriously, when they sprayed the paper’s office with automatic weapons fire in Jaffna.

CPJ calls on the government to fully investigate the attack and take measures to ensure the security of all media workers as more attacks undermine the increasingly unstable truce since planned peace talks faltered in April. The victims’ full names were not immediately available. Vithayatharan identified them as a circulation manager surnamed Suresh and an assistant surnamed Ranjith.

Letters   |   Sri Lanka

Journalist security cited as peace talks resume

Gentlemen: As you resume negotiations in Geneva today to establish a just and lasting peace in Sri Lanka, we call your attention to the urgent issue of journalist security. The free flow of information, a vital ingredient in establishing the peace, is jeopardized by ongoing violence against the press.

February 22, 2006 12:00 PM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Sri Lanka

Attacks on the Press 2005: Sri Lanka

SRI LANKA

The slow unraveling of a cease-fire between the government and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) complicated Sri Lanka's efforts to recover from the December 2004 tsunami and hindered the media's ability to cover the disaster and other important stories. Two Tamil journalists were murdered in 2005 and others were threatened. Independent journalists were not only caught in the feuding between the government and the rebels, known as the Tamil Tigers, but also in the conflict between Tamil factions.
February 16, 2006 11:10 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

Tamil journalist gunned down in Sri Lanka

New York, January 24, 2006—An unidentified gunman killed Tamil journalist Subramaniyam Sugitharajah as the reporter was on his way to work this morning in the eastern port town of Trincomalee. Colleagues believe he was killed for his journalism.

The Committee to Protect Journalists, which is investigating the motive for the attack, called on Norwegian peace envoy Eric Solheim to raise issues of journalist security in meetings with government and Tamil rebel leaders this week. Recent violence between security forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has put the media, particularly Tamil journalists, at great risk. Solheim is in Sri Lanka in hopes of arranging peace talks between recently elected President Mahinda Rajapakse and LTTE leader Vallupillai Prabhakaran.

Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

CPJ condemns attacks on Tamil media

New York, September 6, 2005 – The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns a spate of attacks on the Tamil-language newspaper Sudar Oli, including the killing of a printing press security guard and assaults on reporters.

"We call on the authorities to investigate these vicious attacks and bring those responsible to justice," said CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper. "The government has a responsibility to ensure the safety of journalists whose lives are increasingly endangered by political violence."
September 6, 2005 12:00 PM ET

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  |   Sri Lanka

Relangi Selvarajah

Popular Tamil broadcaster Relangi Selvarajah and her husband, a political activist, were killed by unidentified gunmen in Colombo on the same day that Lakshman Kadirgamar, Sri Lanka's foreign minister, was assassinated. Political leaders blamed the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for all three killings, charges the LTTE denied.

The attackers shot Selvarajah, 44, and her husband, Senathurai, in the office where they ran a travel agency. Sri Lanka's Sunday Times reported that the LTTE had criticized Selvarajah for broadcasting anti-LTTE programs.

Selvarajah was a radio and television host for 20 years, presenting news programs for the state-run Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) and more recently for the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corp., according to the Free Media Movement, a local press freedom organization.

Local newspapers reported that Selvarajah also produced the SLBC program "Ithaya Veenai," a program known for criticizing the LTTE, and allegedly funded by the opposition Tamil political party, the Eelam People's Democratic Party.

Selvarajah's husband was affiliated with the formerly militant and now mainstream group, the People's Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE), according to local news reports and sources. PLOTE is critical of the LTTE; the LTTE accuses PLOTE of attacking its members, according to The Associated Press.

Sri Lanka's Daily Mirror quoted police as saying that they suspected the couple may have been murdered because of Selvarajah's anti-LTTE programs. But their connection to PLOTE also raised the possibility that their killing may have been part of a larger cycle of violence and could be connected to the April murder of well-known pro-LTTE Tamil journalist Dharmeratnam Sivaram, local sources told CPJ. Sivaram was a former member of PLOTE who defected to the LTTE.

Political and ethnic factions began a series of revenge killings across the country last year when a Tamil rebel leader known as Colonel Karuna split from the LTTE.

The government declared a state of emergency on August 13 and President Chandrika Kumaratunga accused the LTTE of killing Kadirgamar, a critic of the LTTE.
August 12, 2005 12:00 AM ET

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Case   |   Sri Lanka

SRI LANKA

MAY 22, 2005
Posted: June 7, 2005

TBC Radio

ATTACKED
The offices of the London-based exiled Tamil news radio Tamil Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) were broken into and looted in the early morning hours, forcing the station to suspend programming, according to the station's program director V. Ramaraj.
May 22, 2005 12:00 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

Journalists receive death threats as tensions rise

New York, May 12, 2005—Two journalists with the Sri Lankan press freedom organization Free Media Movement (FMM) received death threats on Tuesday at the group's headquarters in the capital, Colombo. Several other journalists also said they are under threat in the wake of the abduction and murder of veteran Tamil journalist Dharmeratnam Sivaram late last month.

Victor Ivan, editor of the Sinhala-language tabloid Ravaya and FMM organizer, and Sunanda Deshaprita, FMM spokesman and freelance journalist, received letters from an alleged Sinhalese extremist group calling itself "Theraputtabhaya force. The letters, signed by a person identified only as Commander Mayadunne, threatened all "traitors" and said they should be ready to become "fertilizer of the motherland."
May 12, 2005 12:00 PM ET

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Case   |   Sri Lanka

SRI LANKA

APRIL 29, 2005
Posted: April 29, 2005

Dharmeratnam Sivaram, TamilNet and Daily Mirror

KILLED—CONFIRMED

Sivaram was abducted on the night of April 28 and found dead the next morning from gunshot wounds to the head.
April 29, 2005 12:00 PM ET

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