Slain journalist remembered


Jaffna Press Club members remembering slain BBC journalist Nimalarajan Pic by Dinasena Rathugamage

by Dinasena Rathugamage

Journalist, Mylvaganam Nimalarajan, was remembered on Oct 19 in Jaffna by the members of the Jaffna Press Club with the participation of Jaffna based journalists and civil society members.

Nimalarajan, a senior journalist who contributed to the BBC Tamil and Sinhala services, the Tamil daily Virakesari and Sinhala weekly Ravaya, was murdered on Oct 19 2000 at his residence in Kolombuthurai in Jaffna.

The Committee to Protect Journalists stated shortly after his death:

“The assailants shot the journalist through the window of his study, where he was working on an article, and threw a grenade into the home before fleeing the premises. The attack occurred during curfew hours in a high-security zone in central Jaffna town.”

“Local journalists suspect that Nimalarajan’s reporting on vote-rigging and intimidation in Jaffna during the recent parliamentary elections may have led to his murder.”

Six months after the killing Reporters Without Borders (RSF) expressed deep concern regarding “the serious shortcomings of the police investigation and the Sri Lankan government’s apparent unwillingness to shed light”.

In 2004 RSF wrote an open letter to then Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunge criticising “the failure of the Sri Lankan government to reopen the murder investigation and regretted that the killers have not been tried or punished”. It called on the president to ensure justice in the case, as she herself demanded at the time of the murder,” the statement said.

Speaking ten years after the murder, Nimalarajan’s father told RSF:

“This has been 10 years of suffering for our family. But my son’s memory is still alive. I would like people to remember him as a courageous journalist who served his community. The government could relaunch the investigation into my son’s murder if it wanted to. It is a question of political will. We want justice to be done.”

A case against four EPDP members is pending before Jaffna High Court.

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