Sinnathamby Sivamaharajah

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Attacks on the Press   |   Sri Lanka

Attacks on the Press 2007: Sri Lanka

SRI LANKA

In May, senior journalist Iqbal Athas wrote to CPJ warning that press freedom conditions had deteriorated under President Mahinda Rajapaksa. By September, Athas, a well-known defense correspondent for The Sunday Times of Sri Lanka and a 1994 CPJ International Press Freedom Award winner, had to leave the country temporarily in fear for his safety after angering officials with a story about the corruption-ridden purchase of MiG-27 fighter jets from Ukraine. That departure was not the first time Athas had fled Sri Lanka for his safety, but it was indicative of the pressures facing journalists who dared to take on the government.

Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

Amid civil strife, another Tamil journalist killed in Sri Lanka

New York, April 30, 2007—The Committee to Protect Journalists deplores the slaying on Sunday of Selvarajah Rajeewarnam, a reporter for the Tamil-language daily Uthayan, and calls on the government to investigate and quickly bring his assailants to justice. Rajeewarnam was aboard a bicycle on assignment in Jaffna when he was shot by unidentified motorcycle-riding gunmen about 600 feet (180 meters) from a military checkpoint, according to Uthayan staffers.

April 30, 2007 12:00 PM ET

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  |   Sri Lanka

Selvarajah Rajeewarnam

Rajeewarnam, a reporter for the Tamil-language daily Uthayan, was aboard a bicycle on assignment in Jaffna when he was shot by unidentified motorcycle-riding gunmen about 600 feet (180 meters) from a military checkpoint, according to Uthayan staffers.

Rajeewarnam, a Tamil, had worked for another Tamil paper, Namadu Eelanadu, which closed soon after its managing editor, Sinnathamby Sivamaharajah, was killed outside his home in Jaffna in August 2006. Rajeewarnam had worked at Uthayan for about four months.

Uthayan has often been under attack. In September 2006, CPJ called on Sri Lankan authorities to fulfill their duty to protect Uthayan's staff after receiving a telephone plea from E. Saravanapavan, the paper's managing director, to publicize the numerous threats against his staff.

April 29, 2007 12:00 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: Veteran Tamil journalist feared abducted

New York, August 29, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned by reports that veteran Sri Lankan journalist Nadarajah Guruparan is missing and feared abducted in Colombo today.

The Free Media Movement, a local press group, reported that Guruparan, a producer, left for work at the privately owned Tamil-language radio station Sooriyan, or Sun FM, around 4 a.m. Guruparan’s family later found his empty car near his house with the engine still running and his mobile phone on the driver’s seat, The Associated Press reported, citing a colleague who requested anonymity.

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.

5 results