Bala Nadarajah Iyer

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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.

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