Jaffna journalist killed for his reporting

[TamilNet, Friday, 20 October 2000, 06:43 GMT]
The killing of senior Jaffna journalist, Mylvaganam Nimalrajan, 38 Thursday night by gunmen suspected to be members of a pro-government Tamil group, was widely condemned by Tamil media organisations and political parties. Mr.Nimalrajan, fearlessly reported the intimidation, thuggery and election malpractice during the October 10 elections in Jaffna to the Sri Lankan Parliament.

nimalrajan_201000.jpgHe told colleagues subsequently that he had earned the ire of the armed pro-government group, the Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP), which was widely implicated in violence against other parties contesting the polls and in rigging and intimidation.

Mr.Nimalrajan told TamilNet three days before his assassination that he was worried about his safety as he had received several threats and that the army had visited him for an inquiry the day before.

He said that the EPDP was holding him partly responsible for not getting the majority of the Jaffna votes they were hoping to obtain.

Mr.Nimalrajan organised a demonstration and protest against a bomb attack on the Jaffna Tamil daily, the Uthayan.

The EPDP was involvement was suspected in the attack on Uthayan which had been critical of the group.

In statement issued today, the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation charged that a pro-government group was responsible for Nimalrajan's murder.

uthayan-demo_1_310899.jpg
Jaffna journalists protest against an attack on the Tamil daily, 'Uthayan', on 31 August 1999.Photo:TamilNet
Members of Nimalrajan's household who escaped the attack told TamilNet Friday that the two gunmen had entered the living room and slit the throat of the journalist's father and had gagged him. Then their accomplices had shot Mr.Nimalrajan who had been writing an article in his room. The parents of the slain journalist and his 11 year old nephew who were wounded by a grenade lobbed by the attackers are still not out of danger said Jaffna hospital doctors.

Mr.Nimalrajan is married and the father of three children. He was the Jaffna correspondent for the Tamil daily Virakesari, the independent Tamil radio station, Sooriyan FM, the popular Sinhala political weekly, Ravaya, the Tamil and Sinhala services of the BBC. He was also the secretary of the Northern Journalists' Association.


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