UNESCO: Sivaram killing ‘shameful crime’

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 03 May 2005, 16:46 GMT]
UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura Tuesday condemned the murder of political columnist and military analyst, Dharmeratnam Sivaram, as a “shameful crime” and his death “a great loss for Sri Lankan journalism and for UNESCO.”

Mr. Matsuura was speaking from Dakar where he was attending the World Press Freedom Day celebrations.

“I condemn the murder of Dharmeratnam Sivaram,” the Director-General said.

“This shameful crime has led to a great loss for Sri Lankan journalism and for UNESCO. Mr Sivaram had worked with us on the creation of the Media Resource and Training Center, MRTC, in Jaffna in the North of Sri Lanka.”

“It is tragic that I have to make this condemnation today, on World Press Freedom Day, which UNESCO is celebrating in Dakar this year,” the Director-General declared.

“The killing of Mr Sivaram underscores the fact that attacks against the media are cowardly attacks against democracy and rule of law. I trust that the authorities will do all in their power to bring those responsible for this murder to justice and that they will not let criminal actions undermine coexistence in a country that has suffered so much from internal strife in recent decades.”

UNESCO is the only United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.”


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