Aiyathurai Nadesan, a prominent and veteran minority Sri Lankan Tamil journalist was shot dead on May 31, 2004 on his way to work in eastern Sri Lankan town of Batticaloa by gunmen belonging to an armed paramilitary group widely believed to be so called Karuna Group.
Nadesan, the father of four children and aged 50 at the time of his death, hailed from Nelliyadi, a town in North Jaffna District in Sri Lanka. He wrote under the pen name Nellai Nadesan.
Large crowds attended Nadesan’s funeral on 3 June 2004 in his hometown. The normal life of Nelliyady, came to a standstill. Shops were closed. The hearse was taken to the Nelliyady Madhya Maha Vidiyalayam Thursday morning from his residence where funeral orations were delivered by Tamil National Allianceparliamentarians, LTTE activists and Sunanda Deshapriya of the Free Media Movement. A protest demonstration was held in Colombo on 9 June 2004, condemning Nadesan’s killing, and a one-day shutdown was observed in the town of Trincomalee. Police have yet to make any arrests in his death.
He was the Vice-President of the Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance and a recipient of the Best Journalist of 2000 Prize awarded by the Sri Lanka Editors’ Guild. He was the Batticaloa based columnist for Virakesari, the country’s leading Tamil language newspaper, for more than twenty years.
And also he was the local correspondent for Shakthi TV News and the London based International Broadcasting Corporation. For being a prominent member of the local press, Nadesan received the prize for the best Tamil journalist in 2000.