JPC seeks President’s help – Missing and murdered journalists
The Jaffna Press Club (JPC) has requested President Maithripala Sirisena to hold an impartial investigation into the murders and disappearances of Tamil media personnel in the recent years.
In a letter addressed to the President the JPC has mentioned that several Tamil media personnel including media workers had been killed or disappeared particularly in the last two decades in the North and East as well as in Colombo.
The JPC letter while welcoming President Sirisena’s initiative to conduct an investigation into the disappearance of Sinhalese cartoonist Prageeth Eknaligoda emphasized on the importance of investigating the murders and disappearances of Tamil media personnel from the North and East.
The letter sent by the JPC to the President is as follows:”With the assassination of journalist Mylvaganam Nimalarajan in 2000 setting the stage for violence against Tamil journalists, the path was opened for many to go missing or be killed in the North-East. Many journalists have been killed in the Jaffna Peninsula, in particular. Some have gone missing. Other media workers have also been killed or gone missing. Media organisations have been attacked several times.
“At the same time, many journalists were killed; some were unidentified, in Vanni in the war period. There is even today a continued narrative wherein they are not acknowledged as journalists. In particular there is no verifiable information whatsoever about the missing and dead journalists from the final stages of the war.
“Not a single inquiry has specifically been undertaken into the unlawful killings and abductions which have taken place.
With the initial stage inquiries, they have been left in a pending state. Yet several different parties have come into power and have created commissions to appear as if they are undertaking inquiries, and by claiming that those commissions will bring about resolutions, have instead destroyed the statements and testimonies of colleagues of the killed or missing. To this day, we still cannot learn what has happened to those commissions or their reports.
“In relation to fellow journalist Prageeth, you have proclaimed that inquiries into missing people will recommence. Jaffna Press Club welcomes this announcement wholeheartedly. However, we would like to clarify our demands for inquiries carried out under the scrutiny of impartial international media organizations.”