Rajan Sathiyamoorthy

Tamil National Alliance parliamentary candidate Rajan Sathiyamoorthy was killed by LTTE Tamil Tiger Terrorists on 30 March 2004.

Tamil National Alliance parliamentary candidate Rajan Sathiyamoorthy is mourned by relatives in the room where he was killed by gunmen who stormed his home in Batticaloa, in Eastern Sri Lanka Tuesday March 30, 2004. (AP Photo beloe by Julia Drapkin)

Army deployed in Sri Lankan city after slaying of candidate - Combat-ready soldiers patrolled the streets of the Tamil-majority town of Batticaloa on Wednesday, a day after unidentified gunmen killed a Tamil candidate in this week's parliamentary elections who was allied to a renegade guerrilla leader.  Soldiers fanned out across this eastern town, where Radian Sathiyamoorthy of the Tamil National Alliance party was fatally shot on Tuesday, along with a relative.  Sathiyamoorthy had supported breakaway Tiger leader Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, and it's widely believed that seven of the eight Tamil National Alliance candidates running in Batticaloa also support him.  Many of them have complained of anonymous telephone threats warning them to withdraw from the election, said a police official, speaking on condition of anonymity.  Tuesday's shooting, the third in three days, occurred amid a heightened police presence in Batticaloa, about 220 km east of the capital, Colombo. There were no reports of violence (Full report in Hindustan Times).

Averting a blood spill in Batticaloa - A statement issued by the University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna), Sri Lanka, released on March 30, 2004 - The LTTE is being challenged as never before. Its outmoded reliance on violence to maintain political control over a frightened and beleaguered population has worn thin. Tamil politicians, journalists and ordinary members of the public are openly defying the LTTE’s blatant death threats, and more importantly, many are surviving. But the LTTE will not go down without a fight. It is up to all democratic forces - in Sri Lanka and in the international community — to ensure that these dissident voices continue to be heard, and that the LTTE death squads are not allowed to carry out its leaders’ murderous intentions. It is particularly critical that, whatever the outcome of the election, the UNF and the UPFA commit to work together towards a political solution and acknowledge the urgent need for that process to be one that promotes democratic plurality. The LTTE (or LTTE(P), the main faction led by Prabhakaran) in its address to the cadres and divisional heads of the Batticaloa-based breakaway faction headed by Karuna, made a declaration of intent to kill, not just Karuna but anyone who supports him (Full report in Island).

Prabhakaran-Karuna battle takes turn for the worse TNA candidate killed

A TNA candidate for the Batticaloa district and a relative were shot dead, by the LTTE’s pistol group, in Batticaloa yesterday morning, police sources said. Rajan Sathyamoorthy, who was leading the TNA team at the April 2 parliamentary polls and his brother-in -law Kandiyah Kanagasabai (55) were gunned down at the former’s house in the Thandawanwali area in Batticaloa town. A supporter of Sathyamoorthy, Sinnathambipulle had been admitted to Batticaloa hospital with serious gun shot injuries, sources said. Sathyamoorthy was a supporter of dissident LTTE regional commander Karuna Amman.  Two gunmen, who had arrived at Sathyamoorthy’s residence yesterday, had said they wanted to support the TNA campaign and wanted to talk to Sathyamoorthy.  The leader of the district’s TNA team Sahtymoorthy had welcomed them and served tea. He had then entered the shrine room to perform his morning prayers. The gunmen had thereafter entered the shrine room and shot him while he was praying to the Gods, witnesses told police. The gunmen had then made their getaway spraying the place with bullets killing his brother-in-law and injuring a supporter, police said.  Both Sathyamoorthy and Kanagasabai died on the spot.  Sathyamoorthy had earlier told police that he had received repeated death threats from the LTTE pistol group but had refused security, a police official said. "We had proposed to provide special police protection to Sathyamoorthy since he received so many threats over the phone. But he had refused to accept government security," ASP Nalaka de Silva said (Full report in Island).

Prabhakaran behind Sathyamoorthy’s killing – Karuna’s LTTE - by Bandula Jayasekara - Varathan, spokesman for the LTTE’s rebel eastern commander, ‘Colonel’ Karuna, says that LTTE’s Wanni administration is behind the killing of Batticaloa’s Tamil National Alliance (TNA) candidate, Rajan Sathyamoorthy. Sathyamoorthy (61) and his brother-in-law Kandaiah Kangasabey (64) were killed by two unknown gunmen at about 8.30 in the morning yesterday (30). They were shot at close range when they came out of the shrine room at his house after the morning pooja. Another person Sinnathamby Thambipillai was also injured during the incident. Karuna Amman’s spokesman said the Wanni administration was carrying out an organized campaign to eliminate intellectuals and key figures of the eastern province and their immediate purpose was to paralize the east and weaken the area. Varathan also cited the case of the shooting of the Dean of the Agriculture faculty of the eastern university Dr. Thuruchelvam early this month. Dr. Thiruchelvan who was tipped to be the vice chancellor of the eastern university was shot and critically wounded by unidentified gunmen in Batticaloa. The spokesman said, " It is a very systematic operation of elimination. No civilized society will tolerate and accept this kind of savage activity" (Full report in Island).

Tamil candidate for Lankan Parliament shot dead - Unidentified gunmen on Tuesday shot and killed a Tamil candidate who was contesting Friday's parliamentary elections from eastern Sri Lanka, police said. Rajan Sathiyamoorthy of the Tamil National Alliance was taken to a hospital in eastern Batticaloa, where he was declared dead, a policeman in the eastern town said on condition of anonymity. The shooting is the third in the past two days and the second in the same area. Sri Lanka goes to the polls Friday to elect a Parliament (full report in Hindustan Times).

Tamil candidate shot dead ahead of Sri Lanka poll - Gunmen shot dead a Tamil candidate in eastern Sri Lanka on Tuesday, sparking fears of factional fighting among Tamil Tiger rebels ahead of Friday’s parliamentary polls, military officials said. Tamil National Alliance candidate Rajan Sathyamoorthy was gunned down at his house in the town of Batticaloa together with a relative, military officials said.  He had been a supporter of breakaway Tamil Tiger leader V. Muralitharan, better known as Karuna, who led an unprecedented split from the main Tiger guerrilla organisation earlier this month.  Gunmen entered Sathyamoorthy’s house in the heart of the Batticaloa town, 300 kilometres (190 miles) east of the capital Colombo by road, and escaped after spraying him and his brother-in-law with bullets, officials said. “He had refused to accept government security,” a military official said when contacted by phone.  Sathyamoorthy had organised several protests in the region in support of Karuna after the main rebel organisation expelled him and labelled him a traitor, an euphemism for condemning him to death.  Karuna had refused to step down and is in control over some 5,000 to 6,000 Tiger fighters who form about a third of the original fighting force of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). (Full report in Khaleej News).

Tamil election candidate killed - International election observers have condemned the murder of a Tamil candidate in Friday's general election. The head of the European Union observer mission said violence and democracy could not co-exist. Rajan Sathiyamoorthy and his driver were killed in the eastern town of Batticaloa. A third man was injured. The attack is part of a trend of violence in eastern Sri Lanka that seems to be the result of the recent split in the Tamil Tiger rebel group. The head of the EU observer mission, John Cushnahan, said it seemed forces outside the election process were intent on subverting the outcome. Speaking in Batticaloa, Mr Cushnahan said his message to those forces was violence and democracy could not be allowed to co-exist (Full report in BBC).

Tamil Candidate Shot Dead Ahead of Sri Lanka Poll - A Tamil candidate standing in Sri Lanka's parliamentary elections this week was shot and killed on Tuesday, apparently the victim of a split among the country's Tiger rebels.  The rift in the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has overshadowed much of the run-up to Friday's parliamentary vote, raising questions on whether the winner will be able to quickly get stalled peace talks with them back on track.  The killing of Rajan Sathiyamoorthy of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) by unidentified gunmen in Batticaloa town on the east coast was the third political shooting in three days.  Police said Sathiyamoorthy was gunned down in his home along with a relative. Two others were wounded.  "We have intensified patrols and roadblocks and strengthened security," said Batticaloa Senior Superintendent of Police Lasantha de Silva.  Election monitors condemned the killing, saying it was an attack on the island's democratic system (Full report in Yahoo / Reuters).

Killings mar end of Sri Lanka's vote campaign - Gunmen have killed an ethnic Tamil candidate in Sri Lanka, marring the end of a lacklustre five-week vote campaign that pointed to a hung parliament and raised fears of factional war, officials said. Suspected Tamil rebels shot dead Tamil legislator Rajan Sathyamoorthy and a relative in the eastern town of Batticaloa even as European election monitors were visiting the region, the officials said.  Sathyamoorthy, a candidate from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), had been a supporter of breakaway rebel leader V. Muralitharan, better known as Karuna, who led an unprecedented split from the Tamil Tiger group earlier this month.  Karuna said through his spokesman Varadan, who uses only name, that the killing was the work of the main Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) movement based in the island's north and described the attack as an unnecessary provocation.  "Choosing civilian targets is highly provocative," Varadan told AFP when contacted by telephone. "In spite of all these provocations we try to be patient."  However, he said they "feared the consequences" of "activities" of LTTE chief and their former boss Velupillai Prabhakaran, who last week vowed to "get rid of Karuna" from their soil (Full report in Yahoo / AFP).

TNA candidate shot dead in Batticaloa - Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Batticaloa District candidate Rajan Sathyamoorthy was shot dead by two unidentified gunmen yesterday. His brother-in-law also died in the shooting, which came just two days ahead of the General Election. According to Batticaloa Police, the two gunmen had shot Sathyamoorthy and his brother-in-law at his residence in the heart of Batticaloa. The suspects, who had been chatting with Sathyamoorthy had suddenly opened fire. They had gunned down the two when trying to flee. The incident occured around 8.00 am. Investigations revealed that the suspects had used a 9mm shot gun for the killing. With the latest killings, the pre-election death toll has risen to four. All murders were reported from the Batticaloa District. Police said Sathyamoorthy was involved in organising several demonstrations in support of the breakaway LTTE Eastern commander, Karuna. IGP Indra de Silva earlier revealed that security of general election candidates in the North-East is under serious threat with candidates reluctant to seek police protection fearing the wrath of the LTTE (full report in Daily News).

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