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Friday, 18 October, 2002, 15:52 GMT 16:52 UK
Killed journalist: Sri Lanka 'injustice'
Reporters without borders, BBC journalists and Union Leaders
A Nimalarajan Foundation was set-up by journalists and NGO's


Two international human rights organisations say they have conclusive evidence that the authorities blocked police investigations into the killing of BBC reporter Nimalarajan Mylvaganam in Jaffna.

In a letter to the Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Reporters without Borders and the Damocles Network say, although there has been remarkable progress in the police investigation since the government changed, two suspects were given bail and a third allowed to leave the country.

Saturday marks the second death anniversary of Nimalarajan Mylvaganam but his killers have not yet been formally identified let alone brought to trial or punished, says the BBC correspondent Frances Harrison.

Murdered

Nimalarajan Mylvaganam was murdered in cold blood as he was writing for the BBC at home one evening.

Nimalarajan Mylvaganam
Nimalarajan: Contributed to the BBC for over six years

His father was repeatedly knifed and his mother and young nephew badly injured by a hand grenade explosion in their sitting room.

All this took place during curfew hours in a high security zone in Jaffna close to several military check points.

The letter to the Sri Lankan Prime Minister from the two media watch groups says Nimalarajan had been threatened by both the security forces and the EPDP - a Tamil paramilitary group which supported the then government.

Reporters without borders and the Damocles Network also say Nimalarajan was interrogated by the army just a few hours before his death and they complain the police have never considered the complicity of the security forces in the crime.

Jaffna: Fields of destruction
The cost of the Sri Lankan civil war has been high

Evidence

This open letter also says the best leads for police to follow were a bicycle found near the scene of the crime and some bullet casings.

However it adds that although fingerprints from the bicycle were to be checked with those of the suspects, no findings have been made known.

They also say the magistrate has yet to receive a ballistic analysis of the bullet casings and a pistol recovered from the office of EPDP in Jaffna.

The letter does credit the new government with restarting the stalled police investigation into the killing.

But it also points to many problems such as what it calls a lenient judge giving bail to two of the suspects - something it says could seriously compromise the outcome of the investigation.

By contrast though the human rights groups say they have conclusive evidence that under the last government the authorities in Colombo and Jaffna actually blocked the work of the police and allowed several suspects to move around freely.


Peace efforts

Background

BBC SINHALA SERVICE

BBC TAMIL SERVICE

TALKING POINT
See also:

19 Apr 01 | South Asia
17 Apr 01 | South Asia
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