Director of Jaffna Tamil daily "Namathu Eelanadu" and the veteran chairman
of Multi-Purpose Co-operative Society (MPCS) in Tellippalai, Jaffna,
Sinnathamby Sivamaharajah, 68, was shot and killed at his temporary
residence inside the High Security Zone of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in
Tellippalai Sunday night around 7:20 p.m. Mr. Sivamaharajah is a former
parliamentarian (TULF) and a senior member of Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi
(ITAK), the main constituent party of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).
The veteran Tamil activist Sivamaharajah also championed the cause of
resettling the Internally Displaced People from High Security Zone areas,
was assassinated at his temporary residence, 300 meters inside the HSZ,
Sunday. Sivamaharajah is from Kollankaladdy, Tellippalai. He has also served
as the Presdient of the Consortium of Valikamam North Public Organizations.
Tellippalai is located 14 km northeast of Jaffna town.
RSF condemns Sivamaharajah assassination
[TamilNet, August 23, 2006 20:32 GMT]
"The journalists and employees of Tamil news media continue
to be eliminated at a horrific pace," said the France based media watchdog
Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF). The organisation condemned the slaying of
Sinnathamby Sivamaharajah, the managing director of the Tamil-language daily
Namathu Eelanadu Sunday night in Tellippalai.
The RSF, in it's 2005 press freedom ranking marked Sri Lanka as the 115th
worst highest ranking out of 167, the worst being North Korea. Seven
countries, all the Scandinavian countries except Sweden, Ireland,
Netherlands and Switzerland, received the best rank.
Reporters Without Borders/Reporters sans frontières
Press release, Monday 21 August 2006
Reporters Without Borders voiced dismay today at the murder of Sinnathamby
Sivamaharajah, the managing director of the Tamil-language daily Namathu
Eelanadu (Our Eelam Nation), who was shot dead last night in his home in
Tellippalai, 15 km outside the northern city Jaffna. A Tamil politician, he
had run the newspaper since it was founded in 2002.
"The journalists and employees of Tamil news media continue to be eliminated
at a horrific pace," the press freedom organisation said. "All parties,
especially the pro-government Tamil paramilitaries, must stop targeting
civilians, journalists and humanitarian workers. The press is again the
victim of Sri Lanka's dirty war, and the government is partly to blame for
this hellish cycle of violence."
Aged 68, Sivamaharajah was a member of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi
(ITAK), a party affiliated to the pro-LTTE Tamil National Alliance. He used
to be a parliamentary representative of the Tamil party TULF. His home,
where he was killed, is located in the Sri Lankan army's high security zone.
Launched in 2002, after the signing of a cease-fire between the government
and the LTTE, Namathu Eelanadu offers national news coverage with a special
focus on the Jaffna peninsula and a pro-Tamil nationalist position.
Soldiers staged a raid lasting several hours on the newspaper's headquarters
in Jaffna in December 2005, questioning employees.
UNESCO condemns murder of Sri Lankan Tamil Journalist
Sivamaharajah, Aug 28, 2006, 18:59 [TNS], By John Peter
The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro
Matsuura, condemned the murder of Sinnathamby Sivamaharajah, the
managing director of Namathu Eelanadu, a Tamil-language
newspaper, in Jaffna, in the north of Sri Lanka, on 20 August.
“I condemn the murder of Sinnathamby Sivamaharajah,” the
Director-General declared. “I am very concerned about the
targeting of journalists and media workers in the conflict in
Sri Lanka and must remind all parties that the killing of
journalists will not help them achieve their end,” he further
said. Mr. S. Sivamaharajah was a former Member of Parliament for
the Tamil United Liberation Front and a member of the Tamil
National Alliance. Fighting between the separatist Tamil Tigers
and Government forces has escalated in recent months despite a
ceasefire agreement and a internationally backed peace process.
“The use of force to silence the press only serves to undermine
public debate, thus obstructing the road to a peaceful
settlement,” Mr. Matsuura added. “I call on all parties to
respect the fundamental human right of freedom of expression and
those who practice it,” he further added. Mr. Sivamaharajah is
the fourth journalist killed in Sri Lanka since the beginning of
2005. All of them are highly critical of the government in
Colombo and many suspects the forces or their paramilitary
allies were behind those killings. UNESCO is the only United
Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression
and press freedom. [see also
Tamil newspaper editor killed in Jaffna