Senior Tamil Journalist Joe Ariyanayagam passes away in Colombo
[TamilNet, Saturday, 06 December 2008, 15:30 GMT]
“Joseph Gnanapragasam Ariyaratnam, popularly known as Joe, was a senior English journalist in Jaffna peninsula who did an excellent service to the people of the peninsula in conveying their true situation to the international community and his death is a great loss to the Tamil people as well as the media,” North Ceylon Journalist Association (NCJA) said in its tribute message Saturday. Joe Ariyaratnam passed away in a private hospital in Colombo Friday where he was being treated for his illness. Free Media Movement (FMM) is making arrangements to have Joe’s remains flown to his residence in Chu’ndikkuzhi Wednesday.
Joe Ariyaratnam, one of the pioneer journalists in Jaffna peninsula with his impressive command of English language, had been serving the media for a long time. His contributions as a reporter to Reuters, Associated Press, CNN, Star TV in Hong Kong and Al Jazeera TV are outstanding, media persons in the peninsula said.
The veteran journalist played a key role in covering the last peace talks between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and Sri Lanka government in Ki’linochchi for the international media, particularly for Reuters and AP.
Joe Ariyaratnam is survived by his wife Shanthathevi, daughters Evelyn Vathana, Prescilla Rasmi, Jordana Rupmila and son Johanan Anushan.
"The demise of Joe Ariyanayagam is a great loss for us and his integrity and dedication to journalism will always be remembered," members of NCJA said.
The residential address of Ariyanayagam family in Jaffna is 16, Somasundaram Avenue, Chu’ndikkuzhi.