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Mother of disappeared journalist dies still in search of son

The mother of a Tamil journalist disappeared in 2007 died on Sunday, following the death of her husband less than a month earlier. The couple had been actively seeking answers for the disappearance of their son, Subramaniam Ramachandran, until their last days.

Ramachandran, a local correspondent for both the Yaal Thinakkural and Valampuri newspapers was disappeared in February 2007 inside a Sri Lankan army camp in Vadamarachchi.

His parents had initially thought he was being detained under investigation. Ramachandran’s mobile phone remained connected for several days after his disappearance.

During their 11-year search, Ramachandran’s parents had repeatedly asserted their belief that the paramilitary group EPDP and the Sri Lankan army had worked together to forcibly disappear their son.

A Reporters Without Borders (RSF) report in 2007 said:

“Ramachandran left the school he ran in Karaveddy in the early evening of 15 February with a friend. Soldiers stopped them for questioning when they got as far as the Kalikai Junction military camp. His friend was allowed to leave and Ramachandran was detained. Eye-witnesses said that an hour later, a vehicle arrived with a military intelligence officer, two EPDP activists and a military informer. They left a few minutes later with Ramachandran and his family have since had no news of him.”

No further information has come to light about Ramachandran’s fate.

The Jaffna Press Club paid tribute to Ramachandran’s late mother, Ambikai Subramaniam, who alongside her husband had spent more than the final decade of their lives searching for their son, travelling long distances in hope of answers and engaging with every disappearances commission the Sri Lankan state had come up with.

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