Dharmeratnam Sivaram

Sivaram: The man, the legend, the legacy (1959 - 2005)

Dharmaratnam Sivaram

In May 2005, three days after Sivaram was abducted and murdered, one of the most senior and respected journalists in the south of Sri Lanka, late Ajith Samaranayake wrote:

"..Sivaram as a political analyst was equipped with impressive intellectual resources. His interests were by no means circumscribed by Tamil horizons. History, sociology, military strategy, international affairs - all this he took in his stride. He was not beyond post-modernism either, that devoutly - worshipped demi-god of the demi-monde. Siva's commitment to the Tamil struggle did not preclude him from his own sound assessments of Sinhala politics. In that sense we are also the poorer for being deprived of the 'insights of this former Tamil militant into the murky world of Sinhala party politics, insights from which we could have gained immeasurably as a society.

Having known Siva intimately as colleague, friend and a former neighbour (once at Ratmalana where he ultimately set up house) I have many reminiscences of happy days with him in Colombo, Jaffna and Batticaloa but this is not the time for self-indulgent memories. The harsh truth is that Siva is dead. It is not for us to point fingers now although ultimately the truth will emerge. For the moment the harsh truth is the death by killing of a colleague, friend, a human being.

And by some deaths we stand condemned."   -  (Ajith Samaranayake, 'Emblem and sacrifice of the Tamil struggle' / 'Sunday Observer - 01 May 2005)

One week after, Ajith revisited his own column through writing another. He had something further to add:

"Last week I closed this column by saying that by certain deaths we stand condemned. I would want to add that by certain deaths we are also impoverished and debilitated as a society and a nation"   -  ('Remembrance of things past' / 'Sunday Observer - 08 May 2005)

Seven years after, even in the absence of both Sivaram and Ajith, those words still stand tall.

Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS)

To read more:

Taraki’s death seven years on: What we have lost - Mark Whitaker

Dharmaratnam Sivaram: Murder of a brilliant journalist - Viraj Mendis


External links:

Siva: A man with rare charisma - Gamini Weerakoon

Taraki: The selective politics of an assassination  - Ajith Samaranayake

Sivaram, his murderers and his mourners - J. S. Tissainayagam

Mourning Sivaram - Qadri Ismail

Sivaram: Unassuming greatness, unforgettable charm - Professor Karthigesu Sivathamby

From gun to pen: The story of Sivaram - D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Sivaram's murder never took place - Harinda Ranura Vidanage

Social diversity, only through Tamil right to self-determination - Jude L.Fernando

Significance of Sivaram’s (Taraki’s) Murder - Col.Hariharan

The man who knew too much: is now dead - Professor Tom Plate

Sivaram: Death of a Warrior - S.Sathananthan

Sivaram Dharmeratnam: A Journalist’s life - Mark Whitaker

A shameful crime - UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura

Selected Writings of Dharmeratnam Sivaram (Taraki) - Tamilnation


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.