Killed media workers

Media workers killed in 2009

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1. Name: Lasantha Wickramatunge

Designation: Journalist

Assassinated on: 09 January 2009 in Colombo

Additional remarks: Founding Chief Editor of the English weekly 'The Sunday Leader'. He was repeatedly shot in broad daylight by eight assailants arrived on four motorcycles who blocked his path in a busy Colombo street. The assassination occurred in a  high security zone in the capital, in close proximity to a military Airport and an Air force Base,


2. Name: Punniyamurthy Sathyamurthy

Designation: Journalist

Assassinated on: 12 February 2009 in Thevipuram, Mullaithivu

Additional remarks: Regularly contributed to various Tamil publications including Eelanatham, Vellynatham, Eelamurasu, Velichcham and several radio stations. Sustained fatal injuries as a result of Sri Lankan military bombardment while living inside the government designated safe zone and later succumbed to his injuries.


3. Name: Sasi Mathan

Designation: Media worker

Assassinated on: 05 March 2009 in Mullaithivu

Additional remarks: Worked as a distributor for Tamil daily 'Eelanatham' in Mulaithivu area. Killed  in a mortar shell attack by Sri Lankan military, while distributing the newspaper in Iranaipalai.


4. Name: Mahalingam Maheswaran

Designation: Media worker/Journalist

Assassinated on: 13 March 2009 in Mullaithivu

Additional remarks: Coordinated the distribution of 'Eelanatham' in Mullaithivu District, while working as a reporter to the same paper. Killed  in a mortar shell attack by Sri Lankan military in Pokkanai.


5. Name: Anton

Designation: Media worker

Assassinated on: March 2009 in Mullaithivu  (date unverifiable).

Additional remarks: A distributor attached to 'Eelanatham' newspaper. A mortar shell fired by the advancing Sri Lankan troops killed him while distributing the newspaper in Iranaipalai. Reportedly his entire family has been killed during the final days of the war.


6. Name: Rajkumar Densey

Designation: Media worker

Assassinated on: 09 April 2009 in Mullaithivu

Additional remarks: A computer graphic designer attached to the Tamil daily 'Eelanatham'. Killed along with her husband in Pokkanai area, by Sri Lankan military shellfire.


7. Name: Jeyaraja Susithara (Suganthan)

Designation: Media worker

Assassinated on: 25 April 2009 in Mullaithivu

Additional remarks: Worked as a printing machine operator at 'Eelanatham' newspaper. Killed by a Sri Lankan Army sharp shooter (Sniper) in Valaignarmadam.


8. Name: Mariyappu Anthoneykumar

Designation: Media worker / Journalist

Assassinated on:  14 May 2009 in Mullaithivu

Additional remarks: Apart from working as a newspaper distributor and a store keeper, he served as a news reporter for Tamil daily 'Eelanatham'. After surviving until the final days of the war, killed by Army RPG fire while trying to come out of a “bunker” shelter in Mullivaikkal.


9. Name: Thuraisingham Tharshan

Designation: Media worker

Assassinated on: 14th May 2009 in Mullaithivu

Additional remarks: Worked as a computer graphic designer attached to 'Eelanatham' newspaper. After surviving until the final days of the war, killed along with another media worker by Army RPG fire while trying to come out of a “bunker” shelter in Mullivaikkal.


10. Name: Isai Priya (Shoba)

Designation: Journalist

Assassinated on: 18 May 2009 in Mullaithivu

Additional remarks: A TV presenter worked for the Tamil rebel television station. Reportedly surrendered to the Sri Lankan military during the final days of the war. Photographic evidence surfaced later, leading many to believe that she was sexually assaulted before being killed.


11. Name: Thirukulasingham Thavabalan

Designation: Journalist/Political activist

Assassinated on: May 2009 (date unverifiable) in Mullaithivu

Additional remarks: He served as the head of Tamil rebel radio station and is best known for his outstanding skill as a photographer. Believed to have been summarily executed after surrendering to the Sri Lankan troops at the end of war. Final moments of his life remain unknown and unverified.

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Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka

  • JDS is the Sri Lankan partner organization of international media rights group, Reporters Without Borders (RSF). The launching of this website was made possible by the EU’s European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), of which Reporters Without Borders is a beneficiary.