Nov 20, 2007 (AFP) – A media rights group on Tuesday asked the government to help find a Sri Lankan Tamil journalist based in embattled Jaffna who it believed was kidnapped by paramilitary forces. Vadivel Nimalarajah, a proof reader with the Jaffna-based Uthayan newspaper, was “abducted by an unidentified group” in the state-controlled northern town as he cycled home on November 17, said Free Media Movement, a Sri Lankan group.
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“Uthayan management believes that he may be kept in one of the paramilitary group offices in Jaffna and immediate action by the government may save his life,” the group said in a statement.
“We are investigating the matter,” said Anusha Pelpita, director of government in Sri Lanka’s information department.
The regional-based Uthayan newspaper has come under strong pressure from security forces and pro-government paramilitary groups over the last two years for its pro-Tamil editorials, the group said.
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The newspaper’s offices have been fired on, its computer section destroyed, newsprint stores set ablaze and three of its staff shot dead. Uthayan’s editor has lived on the newspaper premises for more than a year because he fears going outside, the rights grou