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Sri Lanka: Thirty-four journalists & media workers killed during present government rule

Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) express its serious concern that even after government's declaration of war victory and end of war, intimidations and harassments to media and journalists continue with increasing ferocity. People of Sri Lanka are deprived of their right to information and media and journalists are forced to practice unprecedented level of self censorship.

 It is in this context JDS reports with anger and great sadness that thirty-four journalists and media workers have been killed with no recourse to justice since the present government was formed. Out of 34 killed, three were Sinhala journalists, two Muslims and 29 were from the Tamil community. A complete list of all journalists is attached herewith. In addition, 10 journalists and media workers were abducted. Journalist Jeyaprakash Tissainayagam, his printer Vetrivel Jesiharan and Jesiharan’s wife Vadivel Valarmathi remain in custody since their arrest over a year ago. These killings and abductions clearly demonstrate the culture of impunity that prevails in Sri Lanka.

The United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government came into power in April 2004 with the present President Mahinda Rajapaksa as its prime minister. Never before in the history of Sri Lanka have such a number of journalists and media workers been killed in such a short period of time.

During the same period, intimidations and threats against journalists and media increased unabated. This situation resulted in more than 50 journalists leaving Sri Lanka fearing persecution.

JDS supports the eleven point plan put forward by International Press Freedom Mission to redress the perilous press freedom environment in Sri Lanka and pledges to work with all democratic forces within and outside the country to achieve human and democratic rights for all peoples in Sri Lanka.

JDS calls upon the United Nations, governments and other international organisations to put pressure on the government of President Rajapaksha by taking all practical means at their disposal to end the culture of impunity and to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice.

Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) is an action group of journalists, writers, artists and human rights defenders who fled persecution in their country and convened in Europe in order to campaign for democracy, human rights and media freedom in Sri Lanka.

Executive Committee
Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka


APRIL 2004 – MARCH 2009


1. Aiyathurai A. Nadesan – Journalist / 31 May

2. Kandaswamy Aiyer Balanadaraj – Writer / 16 August

3. Lanka Jayasundera – Photo journalist / 11 December


4. Dharmaratnam Sivaram – Editor / 28 April

5. Kannamuttu Arsakumar – Media worker/ 29 June

6. Relangee Selvarajah – Journalist / 12 August

7. D. Selvaratnam – Media worker/ 29 August

8. Yogakumar Krishnapillai – Media Worker / 30 September

9. L. M. Faleel (Netpittimunai Faleel) – Writer / 02 December

10. K. Navaratnam – Media worker / 22 December


11. Subramaniam Suhirtharajan – Journalist / 24 January

12. S. T. Gananathan – Owner / 01 February

13. Bastian George Sagayathas – Media worker / 03 May

14. Rajaratnam Ranjith Kumar – Media worker / 03 May

15. Sampath Lakmal de Silva – Journalist / 02 July

16. Mariadasan Manojanraj – Media worker / 01 August

17. Pathmanathan Vismananthan – Singer and musician / 02 August

18. Sathasivam Baskaran – Media worker / 15 August

19. Sinnathamby Sivamaharajah – Media owner / 20 August


20. S. Raveendran – Media worker / 12 February

21. Subramaniam Ramachandran – Media personnel / 15 February

22. Chandrabose Suthakar – Journalist / 16 April

23. Selvarasah Rajeevarman – Journalist / 29 April

24. Sahadevan Neelakshan – Journalist / 01 August

25. Anthonypillai Sherin Siththiranjan – Media worker / 05 November

26. Vadivel Nimalarajah – Media worker / 17 November

27. Isaivizhi Chempian (Subhajini) - Media worker / 27 November

28. Suresh Limbiyo – Media Worker / 27 November

29. T.Tharmalingam – Media Worker / 27 November


30. Paranirupesingham Devakumar – Journalist / 28 May

31. Rasmi Mohamad – Journalist / 06 October


32. Lasantha Wickrematunga - Editor / 08 January

33. Punniyamurthy Sathyamurthy – Journalist / 12 February

34. Sasi Mathan – Media worker / 06 March



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.