MP urges Media watchdogs to highlight Tamil journalists plight

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 01 May 2007, 04:47 GMT]
The killing of Jaffna based young Tamil journalist, Selvarajah Rajivarman, shows us clearly that the lives of journalists working in Sri Lanka, especially in Northeast, are in imminent danger. The international media watchdogs should pay special attention to the safety of Tamil journalists, S. Jeyananthamoorthy, one time journalist and a Member of Parliament representing Batticaloa district said in a press communique released Monday.

The full text of the press communique follows:

Tamil journalists have been threatened and killed from time to time. They work in very difficult situations in Tamil areas and in Colombo as well. Still, the prevailing situation shows that anything could happen to them.

Furthermore, the killing was coincided with a day after the second year remembrance of the killing of veteran journalist, columnist and military analyst, D. Sivaram who was abducted and killed in Colombo. This coincidence makes us more suspicious. Tamil journalists who conducted remembrance events for Sivaram in the Jaffna peninsula were threatened again by the fresh murder of another journalist.

Especially, the media freedom in the military controlled areas in Northeast seems uncertain. In Jaffna, the newspapers face difficulties in functioning. In Batticaloa, paramilitaries have banned the Tamil newspapers. In this context, the killing of Rajivarman should be condemned that took place in Jaffna city on Sunday, in the area where the security is considered very high. As far as I am concerned, the Sri Lankan armed forces and paramilitaries are behind this murder. As a whole, the Government of Sri Lanka is answerable to this killing. If the killers think that by killing they can stop the journalist, it would definitely end up as daydream. There is no doubt that Tamil journalists would never stop their duties and in contrary continue to expose the atrocities committed against the Tamil people.

The international community and the international media watchdogs should take immediate actions to stop Tamil journalists and media workers being killed in Sri Lanka anymore.


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