MAY 10, 2005
Posted: May 17, 2005

Victor Ivan, Ravaya and Free Media Movement
Sunanda Deshaprita, Free Media Movement


Two journalists with the Sri Lankan press freedom organization Free Media Movement (FMM) received death threats at the group’s headquarters in the capital, Colombo.

Ivan, editor of the Sinhala-language tabloid Ravaya and FMM organizer, and 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.”

The group also claimed responsibility for the April 28 murder of Sivaram, who was a founding member of the TamilNet news Web site and a columnist for the English language Daily Mirror who wrote sympathetically about the rebel group the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Local sources say that the FMM may be a target for extremist groups because it condemned Sivaram’s murder and has supported calls for a negotiated peace to end Sri Lanka’s longstanding civil war.