No justice for S Lanka journalist

2010-10-19 12:27

Colombo – A media watchdog on Tuesday demanded justice for a Sri Lankan journalist killed 10 years ago and called for an end to impunity for those linked to the government.

Mayilvaganam Nimalarajan was shot dead at his home in the country's northern region at the height of a civil war between government troops and separatist Tamil Tiger rebels. Media advocates have blamed a pro-government militia.

Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said in a statement that even though suspects were arrested, police and some judges sabotaged and blocked judicial proceedings, which implicated the pro-government militia.

Nimalarajan was a regional reporter for the Tamil language service of British Broadcasting Corp and two other local newspapers.

Media rights groups have long criticised Sri Lanka for turning a blind eye toward many killings, abductions, arrests and disappearances of scores of journalists.

Reporters Without Borders said at least 25 Sri Lankan journalists have been killed in the past 10 years.

Government soldiers defeated the Tamil rebels last year ending a quarter-century civil war that killed at least 80 000 to 100 000 people.

"Reconciliation in Sri Lanka will require tough government initiatives to combat impunity in high profile cases such as Nimalarajan's murder, one of the most shocking killings of the past decade," Reporters Without Borders said.

"Now that the war is over, the police and the judicial authorities need the resources and political support that is essential in order to be able to identify and arrest those responsible."