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Murdered journalist Nimalarajan remembered in Jaffna

The Tamil journalist, Mylvaganam Nimalarajan, was remembered today in Jaffna on the 18th anniversary of his assassination.

Nimalarajan, a senior journalist who contributed to the BBC Tamil and Sinhala services, the Tamil daily Virakesari and Sinhala weekly Ravaya, was murdered on October 19th 2000.

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.”

The government aligned paramilitary group the EPDP are suspected of carrying out the killing.

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.”

Nimalarajan was remembered in Jaffna on Friday in commemorations by the University of Jaffna and by the Jaffna Press Club.

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