Govt. of Sri Lanka is accountable for journalist's murder- US Tamils

[TamilNet, Monday, 02 May 2005, 00:48 GMT]
"Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) is accountable for the murder of journalist Mr D Sivaram," said a press release issued by a group of US Tamil Organizations, Sunday. "Sadly, the murder of Mr. Sivaram is not an aberration; it is consistent with a long history of state-sponsored murders of journalists and political opponents, and general contempt for freedom, democracy and the rule of law which have become the norm for Sri-Lanka," the release further said.

Full text of the press release follows:

Government of Sri Lanka is Accountable for the Brutal Murder of Journalist Dharmaratnam Sivaram in Sri Lanka; US Sri Lankan Tamil Community Urges International Community to Protect Others in Danger in Sri Lanka.

Maryknoll, NY – We, representing Tamil Community in the US, condemn in the strongest possible terms the abduction and brutal murder of the respected journalist Dharmaratnam Sivaram in Colombo, Sri-Lanka on Thursday. We hold the Government of Sri Lanka accountable for Sivaram’s death based on the circumstances of his abduction, and a long pattern of extra-judicial, anti-democratic, and otherwise despicable actions. We urge the International Community to take measures to prevent the Government from further victimizing its unfortunate citizens.

Mr. Sivaram was the editor and principal force behind TamilNet.com an online newspaper, and also a regular contributor to Daily Mirror newspaper under the pseudonym “Taraki.” He also wrote for the Tamil newspaper Virakesari. He was considered an expert on the political & military aspects of the Sri Lankan civil conflict. He lectured on the subject to audiences in Sri Lanka and the West, including the US State Department and International “Think Tanks.” On a personal level Mr. Sivaram had a good rapport with a wide cross-section of Sri Lankan civil society.

Sadly, the murder of Mr. Sivaram is not an aberration; it is consistent with a long history of state-sponsored murders of journalists and political opponents, and general contempt for freedom, democracy and the rule of law which has become the norm for Sri-Lanka.

The exact identity of the perpetrators of this act are not known, Yet we hold the Government of Sri-Lanka accountable for this brutal murder based on the circumstances; he was abducted on a busy public street in Capital next to a police station; his body was discovered in a high security area, only 500 meters from the country’s parliament; there have been recent unsolved murders of ethnic Tamil journalists and political leaders; the government continues to sponsor and protect armed anti-Tamil paramilitary groups in violation of the cease fire agreement and democratic norms; military harassment of Tamil civilians.

We, united Tamil community in the US, call upon the International Community to take all appropriate measures to protect the citizens of Sri Lanka and to hold its government accountable for its unlawful and anti-democratic actions.

Illankai Tamil Sangam, New York
Federation of Tamil Associations of North America (FeTNA)
World Tamil Coordinating Committee – USA. New York
World Tamil Women Organization, Maryland
Midwest Tamil Sangam, Illinois
Sri Lanka Tamil Association of Ohio
Illankai Tamil Sangam - Vancouver-Portland
North Carolinians For Peace, North Carolina
Illankai Tamil Sangam – Houston
Tamil Welfare and Human Rights Committee, Washington D.C.
Illankai Tamil Sangam - Washington
Illankai Tamil Sangam - Dallas

Contact: Ilankai Tamil Sangam
Email: secretary@sangam.org

 

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