Bala Nadarajah Iyer

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Iyer, a journalist, writer, and political activist with the opposition
Tamil group the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP), was shot and
killed by unidentified assailants in the capital, Colombo.

Two men on a motorcycle gunned down Iyer, a veteran activist and writer,
when he left home for work in the southern Wellawatte area of the
capital on the morning of August 16, according to local police. The
EPDP’s official news Web site reported that the LTTE had threatened
Iyer before his murder.

Iyer was a media officer and a senior member of the EPDP who worked
on the editorial board of the Tamil-language weekly Thinamurasu
and wrote a political column for the state-run Tamil daily
Thinakaran. He was known for criticizing the LTTE’s human rights
abuses and had worked closely with Tamil political groups, including
the LTTE, during the last 20 years, according to local journalists.

Tensions between the two rival Tamil groups flared in the spring after
the EPDP supported a breakaway faction of the LTTE headed by a rebel
leader known as Colonel Karuna.