FMM condemns killing of Tamil journalist

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 24 January 2006, 11:17 GMT]
Expressing shock and dismay at the killing of Tamil journalist Mr Sugirdharajan, the Free Media Movement (FMM) in a press release issued Tuesday in Colombo said, "It is time to put a complete stop to the impunity which has been the hallmark of attacks on the freedom of expression in this country and ensure that culprits are arrested and held account for their crimes."

Full text of the press release follows:

The Free Media Movement (FMM) is shocked and dismayed to report the killing of another journalist in Sri Lanka this morning.

Mr. Subramaniyam Sugirdharajan, popularly known as SSR, a part-time provincial journalist working for the Tamil language daily Sudaroli was shot dead in Eastern port city of Trincomalee around 6.00 am today. He was 35 years and farther of two children aged three and two. Assailants were on a motorbike and fired at him from close range.

Tamil language media and journalists are under serious pressure and have also faced numerous threats in the recent past. Four Tamil journalists have been killed during the last 12 months by key antagonists in the conflict. Tamil News paper offices have been searched repeatedly by state security forces; several Tamil journalists were assaulted and detained during the last two months.

The Sudarorli newspaper in particular faced numerous serious threats in the recent past. On 20th August 2005 two hand grenades were lobbed inside its advertising office. In a grenade attack on its printing press on 29th August 2005 its security guard Mr. David Selvaratnum was killed. One of its journalists was manhandled and handed over to police as a LTTE spy by pro-government political party supporters in Colombo on 23rd August 2005.

In this disturbing context, the FMM requests that the government to take immediate steps to arrest the killers and and subject them to the due process of the law. It is time to put a complete stop to the impunity which has been the hallmark of attacks on the freedom of expression in this country and ensure that culprits are arrested and held account for their crimes.

 

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