Mariyadas, a freelance radio reporter, was on assignment for the state-run Sri Lankan Broadcasting Corporation when he was killed in the northern town of Vavuniya.
A lone gunman shot Mariyadas in the head outside St. Anthony's Church, where he had gone to cover the New Year's Eve midnight mass service for a radio program broadcast in northern Sri Lanka. The journalist died before he could be taken to the hospital, according to CPJ's sources. Police estimated the time of death at 10:15 p.m.
Vavuniya is a government stronghold in the ongoing civil war between government forces and Tamil separatist rebels. However, there is no direct evidence linking Mariyadas's killing to this conflict.