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Murdered for uncovering a massacre – Remembering Subramaniyam Sugirdharajan

Events were held in Batticaloa today to remember Tamil journalist Subramaniyam Sugirdharajan 16 years on from his murder, as calls were renewed demanding justice for his murder.

At the Batticaloa Press Club, lamps were lit before a garlanded portrait of the slain journalist, whilst at Gandhi Park later in the day a march was held by the Eastern Journalists' Union.

Deputy Mayor of Batticaloa Municipal Council K. Sathiyaseelan, civil society activists, journalists, and others were in attendance at the Eastern Journalists' Union rally.

Sugirdharajan was murdered just weeks after the Trinco 5 massacre, in which five Tamil students were gunned down on a Trincomalee beachfront by Sri Lanka’s Special Task Force.

Sugirdharajan, who was a journalist at the Sudar Oli paper, had accompanied one of the father of the murdered students, Dr Manoharan to the mortuary and published photos showing the bodies with point-blank gunshot injuries, thereby disproving government claims that the students had been killed by a grenade explosion.

He was shot dead near his home in Trincomalee, whilst waiting for transport to get to work.

The family of Subramaniyam Sugirdharajan mourn besides his body after he was gunned down in Trincomalee 

The demonstrators held banners calling for justice for Sugirdharajan’s murder and also highlighted the case of fellow journalist Murugupillai Kokulathasan, agaist a photographer attached to Batticaloa Press Club locally known as Kokul. 

He was arrested on November 28, 2020, by the Sri Lankan Terrorism Investigation Department (TID) over allegations that he had published pictures of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on Facebook.

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