Mylvaganam Nimalrajan

Mylvaganam Nimalrajan, also spelt Mylvaganam Nimalarajan was a senior Jaffna based journalist who was shot dead by gunmen in the Sri Lanka Army’s high security zone on 19 October 2000.

Career in journalism

As a journalist based in the war torn northern Jaffna peninsula during the late 1980s and early 1990s, he reported for various news organizations, including the BBC’s Tamil- and Sinhala-language services, Tamil language Virakesarinewspaper and Sinhala language Ravaya newspaper as a freelancer. Nimalarajan was one of the few sources of independent news from Jaffna, a strife-torn area where journalists have rarely been allowed free access during the time he reported.

The attack and his story

The assailants came into his home and shot him while he was writing an article. Before they left, they threw two grenades which seriously injured his mother, Lily Mylvaganam, who was 58 at the time, and his nephew, Prasanna Jegathas, who was 11. They also cut his father, Sangarapillai Mylvaganam, 66 then, with a long knife, under his left ear and twirled a vein, which left a mark on his face. Nimalarajan’s older sister, Pramarani Jegathas, heard noises. When she came into the room, it was dark, she felt her feet stick to the floor. When she turned the light on, she found the floor covered with blood from her younger brother. When they went to the hospital, the father, mother and his nephew, who was his older sister’s son, were taken to the emergency ward. Pramarani had her younger brother’s body, across her lap, crying the whole time.

Why he was killed

According to Committee to Protect Journalists, it suspected that Nimalarajan’s reporting on vote-rigging and intimidation during the 2000 parliamentary elections in Jaffna led to his murder.

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