02 May, 2006 - Published 15:23 GMT

Paramilitary blamed for Uthayan attack

Two media workers were killed and three injured in a shooting in a newspaper office in Jaffna while journalists celebrating the World Press Freedom day in Colombo.

Sri Lankan and international journalists demonstrating in front of the Fort railway station called for the authorities to bring the killers of previously slain Sri Lankan journalists into justice.

A journalist working for Uthayan newspaper told BBC Sandeshaya that Marketing Manager Suresh and another employee Ranjith were killed on the spot.

Three injured has been admitted to Jaffna hospital.

Paramilitary suspected

The journalist said that an armed group has entered the office around 7pm SLT and fired at the workers after failing to find the Chief Reporter, Kuhanathan.

The attackers have fired at computers and other equipment in the editorial room.

“Neither the government nor armed forces were involved. Attackers may be members of a paramilitary,” Uthayan journalist told

He said the attackers have spoken in Tamil.

Media watch dog Reporters Without Borders Asia head Vincent Brossel who is in Colombo with other local and international journalists told the BBC that paramilitary forces working with impunity from the state are to be blamed.

Press Freedom Day

President Mahinda Rajapaksa and media minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa have condemned the attack.

But several journalists and organisations have walked out of a dinner hosted by the Media minister in protest.

The attack happened hours after journalists protested in the capital, Colombo, against lack of progress into investigations of journalists killed during the recent years.

The Sri Lankan government was urged by media workers to bring killers of journalists Richard de Soyza, Mylvaganam Nimalarajan, Dharmeratnam Sivaram, Relangi Selvaraja and many others into justice.

Media workers said the authorities and the society do not usually go beyong condemning murders and celebrating death anniversaries for political gains.