தமிழ்த் தேசியம்

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."

- Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

Home

 Whats New

Trans State Nation Tamil Eelam Beyond Tamil Nation Comments Search

HomeTamils - a Trans State Nation > One Hundred Tamils of the 20th Century > Dharmeratnam Sivaram (Taraki)

CONTENTS
OF THIS SECTION
Last updated
14/07/07

Second Death Anniversary :Memorial Lecture - Lakshman Gunasekera, 21 June 2007
Selected Writings by D.Sivaram
Note by tamilnation.org - "Dharmeratnam Sivaram, was a regular columnist for the Sri Lanka Daily Mirror and was a Member of the Editorial board of  TamilNet. He has also written for the Sri Lanka Sunday Times under the penname "Taraki." His work was regarded by many as the finest analysis of LTTE strategy and the Sri Lankan government's strategic response. He closely followed Sri Lanka's long war and its complex array of militant organizations. Sivaram  originally joined the People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE), which was formed following a split from the LTTE. He remained with PLOTE until 1990, when he took to journalism and became well known as Taraki.  His later writings were supportive of the LTTE.  He was  subjected to intimidation by the Sri Lanka authorities for several years - and with increasing intensity during the past year. He was murdered on 28 April 2005. We have not always agreed with Taraki and he has not always agreed with us, but his writings will remain a continuing reminder of his lasting and courageous contribution to the struggle for Tamil Eelam."
Mark P.Whitaker - Learning Politics From Sivaram: The Life and Death of a Revolutionary Tamil Journalist in Sri Lanka , 2006

Tributes

Audio-Video Presentation about Himself & his Work German Human Rights Server Interview with Sivaram Dharmeratnam,  May/June 2004  "Mr. Sivaram Dharmeratnam is well known for his role in the web site tamilnet.com. He spoke to us about his work and the repression faced by Tamil journalists a few days before his colleague Mr. Aiyathurai Nadesan was assassinated in the east of the island - the first 5 clips are of this interview. Part 6 was made after Mr Nadesan was murdered." Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 -Part 5 - Part 6
ஊடகவியலாளர் மாமனிதர் சிவராமின் நினைவு வணக்க நிகழ்வில் விடுதலைப் புலிகளின் முக்கிய உறுப்பினர் க.வே.பாலகுமாரன் ஆற்றிய உரை, 2 May  2005
Sivaram Memorial Fund  "TamilNet is creating a "Sivaram Memorial Fund" to provide financial assistance to Sivaram's Family, and to create a Training Program for aspiring young journalists taking its inspiration from Sivaram's visionary zeal and brilliant writing skills in working towards strengthening Tamil Nationalism. .. Payments can be made through Paypal using credit cards or via sending a cheque. All payments will be transparent and publicly viewable on the web. Those who do not wish to have their names publicly displayed can opt to stay anonymous."
சிவராமுக்கு தமிழ் ஈழத் தேசியத் தலைவர் 'மாமனிதர்" பட்டம் வழங்கி கௌரவிப்பு...
"...Life goes on as usual in Batticaloa town and in its interior. The Army has stepped up patrols and occasional checks on the main roads of the town. But no one appears to be too hassled by this. But whenever I run into friends, acquaintances or relatives, they invariably tell me that I am foolish to be back. "You would be shot dead like Nadesan. Leave now", they say." Dharmeratnam Sivaram in Can the renegade Karuna deliver his Big Magic?  , 14 July 2004



Mr. Sivaram's body was recovered in the high security zone behind the Sri Lankan Parliament.

Sri Lanka's Sustained Attacks on Tamil Journalists
ஞாயிறு (24.04.05) கனடா தமிழ்ச்சோலை வானொலிக்கு படுகொலை செய்யப்பட்ட டி.சிவராம் (தராக்கி) வழங்கிய சமகால அரசியல் ஆய்வு
மாமனிதர் சிவராமின் இறுதி நிகழ்வுகளில் இருந்து சில படங்கள், April 2005
Eulogy to Sivaram at US Memorial Meeting - Rajan Sriskandarajah, 5 June 2005
Sivaram, his Murderers and his Mourners - J.S.Tissainayagam, June 2005
Tribute by Ilankai Tamil Sangam, USA, June 2005
Siva - a Man with Rare Charisma - Gamini Weerakoon, 8 May 2005
Let Us Resolve To Carry On Sivaram’s Unfinished Task! - V.Thangavelu, 8 May 2005
From gun to pen: The story of Sivaram - D. B. S. Jeyaraj, 8 May 2005
அவுஸ்திரேலியா சிட்னி நகரில் நடைபெற்ற  மாமனிதர் சிவராமிற்கான நினைவஞ்சலி கூட்ட  படத்தொகுப்பு, 8 May 2005
Remembrance of things past - Ajith Samaranayake, 8 May 2005
Significance of Sivaram’s (Taraki’s) Murder - Col R Hariharan, in South Asia Analysis Group, 6 May 2005 -  Col R  Hariharan, is a Military Intelligence specialist in counter-insurgency intelligence, served with the IPKF as Head of Intelligence in Sri Lanka.
Man Who Knew Too Much Dead - Prof. Tom Plate, Director of Asia Pacific Media Network, 5 May 2005 "The brave Sivaram, at the age of 46, is with us no more. The mean and mediocre remain; the outstanding are dealt death by evil. The internationally acclaimed journalist was murdered"
Taraki died defending the Tamil cause’- Tamil Guardian, 5 May 2005
Sivaram’s Murder Never Took Place! - Harinda Ranura Vidanag, 4 May 2005
சிவராமுடன் (தராக்கி) ஒரு நாள் - M.Thanapalasingham, 3 May 2005
Australian Federation of Tamil Associations, 3 May 2005
UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura,  3 May 2005 “This shameful crime has led to a great loss for Sri Lankan journalism and for UNESCO. Mr Sivaram had worked with us on the creation of the Media Resource and Training Center, MRTC, in Jaffna in the North of Sri Lanka...It is tragic that I have to make this condemnation today, on World Press Freedom Day, which UNESCO is celebrating in Dakar this year.. The killing of Mr Sivaram underscores the fact that attacks against the media are cowardly attacks against democracy and rule of law. I trust that the authorities will do all in their power to bring those responsible for this murder to justice and that they will not let criminal actions undermine coexistence in a country that has suffered so much from internal strife in recent decades.”
Mark Wittaker, Associate Professor of Anthropology
University of South Carolina, U.S.A
, 29 April 2005  "I shall mourn for him, my lost best friend, for the rest of my life. I ask all of you who knew him well, friend or foe – for he would talk with anyone – to raise a glass and toast him. And may those that killed him look on in shame.."
Sivaram - Death of a Warrior - Dr.S.Sathananthan, 1 May 2005
Government of Sri Lanka is Accountable for the Brutal Murder of Journalist Dharmaratnam Sivaram in Sri Lanka- Ilankai Thamil Sangam, USA, 1 May 2005
செய்தியாளன் செய்தியானான் -ப.தெய்வீகன், 30 April 2005
Tamil Centre for Human Rights, 30 April 2005
Pen of a Senior Tamil Journalist silenced, - International Federation of Tamils (IFT), 30 April 2005 "The purported murder was committed in a High Security Zone which is under the constant and vigilant protection of the Security Forces of the Sri Lankan government. As supreme commander of the armed forces, the Executive President of Sri Lanka, Chandrika Bandaranaiake Kumaratunge should be held responsible and made answerable for the murder. Several Tamil journalists and human rights activists, including Nimal Rajan in Jaffna, G.Nadesan in Batticaloa, Kumar Ponnambalam in Colombo and Chandra Nehru in Batticaloa, have been murdered, all in High Security Zones, during the present President’s tenure..."
அரசியல்துறை
தமிழீழ விடுதலைப் புலிகள் அறிக்கை
, 29 April 2005 -  "இராணுவ புலனாய்வுப் பிரிவும் தேசவிரோத குழுக்களுமே சிவராமின் படுகொலைக்கு காரணம்: விடுதலைப்புலிகள் கண்டனம்"
English Translation of Political Wing, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Press Release, 29 April 2005 "The brilliant Tamil journalist Taraki D Sivaram has been abducted and murdered. Sri Lanka military intelligence and para-militaries collaborating with the security forces are responsible for this murder.."
Thirumalai Manivannan of BBC Tamil Service on D.Sivaram, 29 April 2005
உலகறிந்த ஊடகவியலாளன் உறங்கிவிட்டான், Puthinam, 29 April 2005
Sivaram's loss, a true tragedy- Teresita Schaffer, Director for South Asia, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington DC, USA. 29 April 2005  "I knew Sivaram as one of the best political analysts in Sri Lanka, and someone who valued and defended his independence of thought and action. Sri Lanka and the Tamil community need people like him. His loss is a true tragedy, and whoever killed him has done great harm to the country and the community."
Tamil Media Alliance Condemns Murder, 29 April 2005
NESOHR is Horrified and Appalled by the Murder, 29 April 2005 "..Sivaram joins the long list of outstanding journalists who are said to have been murdered by forces close to the ruling class of the Sri Lankan polity. NESOHR wants to point out that none of the cases of murders of journalists in Sri Lanka for the past two decades have been solved. This is an indictment of the government and the police force..."
Reporters Without Borders on the Murder of Dharmeratnam Sivaram "Taraki", 29 April 2005 "He was targeted because of uncompromising coverage of the political and military situation, particularly since the emergence of the pro-government Tamil militia headed by Colonel Karuna."
Thamil Nation has lost a Committed Nationalist and a Talented Journalist - Thamil Creative Writers Association, Toronto April 29, 2005
Tamils express outrage at home and abroad at Murder, 28 April 2005
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns actions of Sri Lanka Police & Second Police Raid on Sivaram's house, 27 July 2004
Free Media Movement voices concern over intimidation of Sivaram,  27 July 2004
Reporters without Borders on second  post midnight raid on Sivaram's house by  Sri Lanka Police,  24 July 2004
Reporters Without Borders fears for safety of Tamil journalist Dharmaratnam Sivaram after raid by 40 Sri Lanka police, 4 May 2004
கனடாவிலிருந்து உதயன் துரை... 12 May 2005
 

 

One Hundred Tamils of the 20th Century

Mamanithar Dharmeratnam Sivaram (Taraki)
(1959-2005) - A Worthy Life

"..Death never destroys great men who have lived for lofty ideals. They have an everlasting place in the history of our Nation..." Tamil Eelam Leader, V.Pirabakaran - Mamanithar Award Citation -  Dharmeratnam Sivaram

"..நாம் இன்று அனுபவிக்கும் உரிமைகள் அனைத்துமே பேசிப் பெற்றவையல்ல, அடித்துப் பெற்றவையே.." தினக்குரலும் சிவராமும்

Sachi Sri Kantha, 30 April 2005


For quantitative evaluation, creativity of individuals can be scaled under three categories. These are, (1) ample quantity without quality, (2) ample quality without quantity, and (3) ample quality and quantity.

In the field of journalism, where Dharmaretnam Sivaram [aka, Taraki by his nom de plume] made his reputation, individuals belonging to the first category – ample quantity without quality - forms the majority and I need not mention names.

In the fields of poetry and music, those belonging to the second category – ample quality without quantity - are also represented. Among those who enriched the Tamil literature, one can cite singer S.G.Kittappa (1905? – 1933) and poet Pattukottai Kalyanasundaram (1930-1959) as belonging to this group. Premature death due to disease, accident, homicide or suicide are the contributing causes for this second category.

Those making their grade in the third category – ample quality and quantity - are the trend-setters who will be remembered by history.

Where does D.Sivaram, whose untimely, tragic death on April 29, 2005 saddened the Sri Lankans, contributions fit in the three categories. In my evaluation, Sivaram’s journalistic contributions to Tamil welfare in the print media for the past 15 years make him a sure nominee into the third category, who educated the average Tamils on the intricacy of military affairs by his lucid commentaries.

However, his murder also places him in a slot in the second category - of ample quality without quantity -, if one thinks of how much Sivaram could have contributed to electronic journalism and academic literature on Eelam Tamil history, politics and militancy of the 20th century.

One of Sivaram’s predecessors among the Tamil literati who belongs to both the second and third categories of the creativity assessment scale was the great poet Subramanya Bharathi (1882-1921).

That Sivaram contributed lucid commentaries representing the Eelam Tamil nationalism for the past 15 years is known to all.

But, his only major study [to my knowledge, that is] on Tamil militarism appeared as a eleven part lengthy essay in the now defunct Lanka Guardian journal edited by Mervyn de Silva, from May to November, in 1992. For some reason which I cannot fathom now I had long felt that even that lengthy series got terminated without a proper closure. May be Sivaram was distracted by his other professional commitments. May be, since 1992 was the year when coverage on the Rajiv Gandhi assassination trial was topical, the page space in the Lanka Guardian issues [a slim pages per issue] was at a premium then. Even if that series by Sivaram came to a premature closure, one should credit that Mervyn de Silva thought it apt to print Sivaram’s studious analysis on the vibrancy of Tamil militarism. Here are the individual segments from Sivaram’s lengthy study, as it appeared in the Lanka Guardian issues then.

1. Tamil militarism: Origins and dispersion in South India and Sri Lanka, Lanka Guardian, May 1, 1992, pp.7-8 and 11 (with foot notes 1 to 13).

2. Tamil military castes. Lanka Guardian, May 15, 1992, pp.17-19 (with foot notes 14 to 28).

3. The code of suicide. Lanka Guardian, June 1, 1992, pp.13-15 and 24 (with foot notes 1 to 7).

4. Militarism and caste in Jaffna. Lanka Guardian, July 1, 1992, pp.9-10 and 14 (without foot notes).

5. The suppression of Tamil military castes. Lanka Guardian, July 15, 1992, pp.15-16 (without foot notes).

6. Bishop Caldwell and the Tamil Dravidians. Lanka Guardian, August 1, 1992, pp.11-12 and 24 (with one foot note).

7. The Tamil Soldier and the Dravidian Diaspora. Lanka Guardian, August 15, 1992, pp.12-13 and 28 (with 5 foot notes).

8. The Twin Narratives of Tamil Nationalism. Lanka Guardian, September 1, 1992, pp.10-12 (without foot notes

9. [Subramanya] Bharathy and the Legitimation of Militarism. Lanka Guardian, October 1, 1992, pp.6-8 (with 5 references).

10. Warrior Sons and Mothers. Lanka Guardian, November 1, 1992, pp.17-18 and 20 (with 5 foot notes).

11. The Legend of Cheran Senguttuvan. Lanka Guardian, November 15, 1992, pp.15-16 (without foot notes).

During its six month ‘run’, Sivaram’s analysis also received critical comments from five Lanka Guardian readers, including me. The correspondents and their critical notes appeared as follows:

1. M.Raja Jogananthan: Militarism & caste. Lanka Guardian, July 15, 1992, p.16.

2. Sachi Sri Kantha: Prabhakaran’s mentors. Lanka Guardian, August 1, 1992, p.2.

3. R.B.Diulweva: Martial Tamils. Lanka Guardian, September 1, 1992, p.24.

4. C.R.A.Hoole: Tamil military caste. Lanka Guardian, September 15, 1992, p.12.

5. T.Vanniasingham: Maravar militarism. Lanka Guardian, October 15, 1992, p.21.

In his foot-notes in the series, Sivaram answered two of his critics, namely Raja Jogananthan and Diulweva. Though he did not directly answer to my criticism on the omission of M.G.Ramachandran’s (MGR) contributions in the Tamil movies of late 1940s to whole of 1950s, as inspiration for martial talent among young Eelam Tamils in his first three segments of the series, it was evident that Sivaram had accepted and accomodated my criticism and incorporated references to MGR in the published 8th and 11th (and final) segments. This is a note-worthy skill of a sincere scholar.

In the 11th segment, Sivaram referred to poet Kannadasan’s inspirational lyrics written for MGR in the movie Mannathi Mannan -

அச்சம் என்பது மடமையடா
அஞ்சாமை திராவிடர் உரிமையடா
ஆறிலும் சாவு நூறிலும் சாவு
தாயகம் காப்பது கடமையடா

Achcham enpathu Madamaiyada
Anjaamai Dravidar Udamaiyada
Aarilum Saavu Noorilum Saavu
Thayakam kaapathu Kadamaiyada

In English translation,

“Cowardice is but foolishness
Courage is a trait of Dravidars
Whether death is at six or hundred
Protecting the motherland is a Duty”

Sivaram had proved in life and in his courageous death that he had lived up to emulate the words penned by poet Kannadasan. This is no mean achievement. To celebrate Sivaram’s worthy life, I’ll shortly prepare his lengthy essay of 1992 and the comments of the five correspondents to this essay, for electronic record. He deserves it.


இராணுவ புலனாய்வுப் பிரிவும் தேசவிரோத குழுக்களுமே சிவராமின் படுகொலைக்கு காரணம்: விடுதலைப்புலிகள் கண்டனம், 29 April 2005

அரசியல்துறை
தமிழீழ விடுதலைப் புலிகள்,
தமிழீழம்.
29.04.2005

ஊடகவியலாளர் சிவராமின் கொலைக்கு
தமிழீழ விடுதலைப் புலிகள் கண்டனம்

தமிழினத்தின் மிகச் சிறந்த ஊடகவியளாலரான தராகி டி.சிவராம் கொழும்பில் கடத்திக் கொல்லப்பட்டுள்ளார். சிறிலங்கா அரசின் இராணுவப் புலனாய்வுப் பிரிவும் அவர்களோடு சேர்ந்து இயங்கும் தமிழ் விரோதக் குழுக்களுமே இக்கொலைக்கு காரணமாகும். சிவராமின் இந்த கொலைச் சம்பவம் தமிழ் மக்களிடத்திலும் ஊடகவியலாளர்கள் மத்தியிலும் மிகப்பெரும் அதிர்ச்சியையும் கோபத்தையும் ஏற்படுத்தியிருக்கிறது.

தராகி என்றும் டி.சிவராம் என்றும் நன்கறியப்பட்ட திரு தர்மரத்தினம் சிவராம் அவர்கள் மிகத் துணிச்சலானதொரு ஊடகவியலாளர். எவ்வகையான நெருக்கடிச் சூழ்நிலைகளிலும் எதற்கும் அஞ்சாது துணிச்சலாக செய்திகளையும் கருத்துக்களையும் முன்வைத்து வந்தவர். கடந்த இரண்டு தசாப்த காலத்தில் சர்வதேசம் நன்கறிந்த சிறந்த தமிழ் ஊடகவியலாளராகச் செயற்பட்டு தமிழ் மக்களின் பிரச்சனைகளை வெளி உலகிற்கு எடுத்துச் சொன்னவர். தனது ஊடகப் பணியினூடாக தமிழ் மக்களின் உரிமைப் போராட்டத்தை வெளி உலகத்துக்குத் தெரியப்படுத்த முனைந்து உழைத்தவர்;.

தமிழீழ விடுதலைப் போராட்டத்துடன் தன்னை நீண்ட காலமாகவே தெளிவாகவும் உறுதியாகவும் பிணைத்திருந்தவர் சிவராம். சிங்களப் பேரினவாத அடக்குமுறைக்கு எதிரான போராட்டத்தில் எண்பதுகளின் தொடக்கத்திலிருந்து இணைந்து செயற்பட்டவர். அன்றிலிருந்து தனது இறுதிக் கணம் வரையிலும் தமிழின விடுதலையை நெஞ்சார விரும்பி தனது சிந்தனையையும் எழுத்தையும் முன்வைத்து வந்தவர்.

சிங்களப் பேரினவாதிகளிடமிருந்து தமிழரின் இனப் பிரச்சினைக்கான எத்தகைய தீர்வையும் ஒரு போதும் எதிர்பார்க்க முடியாது என்ற வலுவான கருத்தை தனது அனுபவத்தின் வழியாக வலியுறுத்தி வந்தவர் சிவராம். அத்துடன் தமிழ்த் தேசியத்தை கூர்மைப்படுத்த வேண்டும், அதனைப் பலப்படுத்த வேண்டும் என்னும் உயரிய நோக்கோடு வாழ்ந்தவர்.

தமிழ்த் தேசியம் பலத்தோடு வளர்த்துச் செல்லப்பட வேண்டும் எனக்கூறி தமிழீழத் தேசியத் தலைவர் வே. பிரபாகரன் அவர்களின் தலைமையை ஆதரித்தவர் டி. சிவராம்.

சமாதானப் பேச்சுவார்த்தை குறித்து தெளிவற்ற முறையில் கற்பிதங்களை மக்களிடம் உருவாக்கும் போக்கு தமிழ் ஊடகத்துறையின் தவறாகும் எனச் சுட்டிக்காட்டியவர். அதேவேளையில் சமாதானத்தை தமிழர்களுக்கு ஒரு பொறியாக மாற்ற முனையும் சந்தர்ப்பங்களை அம்பலப்படுத்த வேண்டும் - அதுவே தமிழ் ஊடகங்களின் இன்றைய பணி என்றும் சொல்லிவந்தவர்.

தமிழ் ஊடகவியலாளர்கள் தம்மை நவீன தகவல் தொழில்நுட்பத்திலும் தொடர்பாடலிலும் வளர்த்துக் கொள்ள வேண்டும் என்று சிவராம் தமிழ் ஊடகவியலாளர்கள் மத்தியில் வலியுறுத்தி வந்தார். தமிழ் ஊடகவியலாளர்களைப் பொறுத்தவரையில் சிவராம் ஒரு நல்ல தோழமையாளனாக பத்திரிகைத்துறையில் பலருக்கும் முன்னோடியாளனாக இருந்து ஊடகத்துறையின் வளர்ச்சிக்காகப் பாடுபட்டிருக்கிறார்.

எப்போதும் பக்கச் சார்புகள் இல்லாமல் தனது விமர்சனங்களை முன்வைத்து வந்த நல்லதொரு பண்பாளர் சிவராம் அவர்கள். கொழும்பில் கொலை மிரட்டல்கள், குடியிருப்பதற்கான அச்சுறுத்தல்கள் எனத் தொல்லைகள் தொடர்ந்தபோதும் அவற்றைக் கண்டு பின்வாங்காமல் சிங்களப் பேரினவாதத்தை அம்பலப்படுத்தி வந்தவர்.

நிமலராஜனையோ, நடேசனையோ, தன்னையோ கொல்வதன் மூலம் தமிழ் மக்களின் போராட்டக் கருத்தினை மழுங்கடித்து விட முடியாது என்பதை கொலையாளர்கள் புரிந்து கொள்ள வேண்டும் என்று, தனக்கு வரக்கூடிய அபாயத்தை ஏற்கனவே உணர்ந்து கூறி வந்தவர். ஆனாலும், தனது கருத்துக்களையோ நிலைப்பாட்டினையோ தளர்வேதுமில்லாமலே இறுதிவரை உறுதியுடன் தொடர்ந்து வந்தார். தனது குடும்பம், தனது சுய பாதுகாப்பு என்பவற்றைக்கூட பெரிதெனக் கருதாமல் ஒரு நல்ல புகழ் வாய்ந்த தமிழ் ஊடகவியலாளராக உழைத்து வந்தவர் சிவராம்.

ஊடகவியலாளர் சிவராம் ஏற்கனவே பல தடவைகள் சிறிலங்கா இராணுவப் புலனாய்வுத்துறையின் கொலை மிரட்டல்களை எதிர்நோக்கியுள்ளார். அவரது கொழும்பு இல்லமும் சோதனைக்குள்ளாகியது. இக்கொலையானது கொழும்பின் உயர் பாதுகாப்பு பகுதியுள் நடைபெற்றுள்ளது. எனவே, இக்கொலைக்கு சிறிலங்கா அரசும் அதன் படைகளுமே பொறுப்பாகின்றன.

சிவராமின் உறுதியையும் அவருடைய கருத்து நிலைப்பாட்டினையும் அவருடைய விரிந்த செயல்களையும் பொறுத்துக் கொள்ள முடியாத சக்திகள் இன்று அவரைக் கடத்திக் கொன்றிருக்கின்றன.

படுகொலையில் சிவராம் அவர்களை இழந்து நிற்கும் அவரது மனைவி, பிள்ளைகள், மற்றும் குடும்பத்தினருக்கு எமது ஆறுதலைத் தெரிவிக்கிறோம்@ அவர்களுடைய துயரில் நாமும் பங்கெடுத்துக் கொள்கிறோம்.


English Translation of  Political Wing of Liberation Tigers of TamilEelam Press Release, 29 April 2005

"The brilliant Tamil journalist Taraki D Sivaram has been abducted and murdered. Sri Lanka military intelligence and para-militaries collaborating with the security forces are responsible for this murder which has shocked and angered the Tamil people and journalists.

Mr Dharmeratnam Sivaram is a courageous writer who was able to fearlessly express his opinions and present news stories even in difficult circumstances. During the past two decades Mr Sivaram, while gaining international recognition for his efforts in communicating the difficulties faced by Tamil people to the outside world, convincingly articulated the rights of Tamil people through the media to the international community.

From the eighties Sivaram resolutely involved himself with Tamil freedom struggle and fought against oppression by Sinhala chauvinist forces. He whole heartedly devoted his thoughts and writings towards advancing the liberation of Tamil people.

Sivaram firmly believed that Sinhala chauvinism will always impede arriving at a just and fair solution to the Tamil National question. He argued for refining, and worked towards further strengthening, Tamil Nationalism.

Articulating that to be successful, Tamil Nationalism has to grow from strength to strength, Sivaram gave his unstinting support to the leadership of Tamil National leader V Pirapaharan.

He vehemently criticized the Tamil media when the analyses attempted to breed complacency towards a faulty peace process. He urged the press to be vigilant and to never fail to identify the ruling government's ploys when peace is used as a trap to contain the Nationalistic fervor of Tamil people.

Sivaram stressed the importance of incorporating modern technology in the field of media and journalism, and urged journalists to obtain training to keep their skills current. He functioned as a visionary and a companion to his fellow journalists as he strived to advance the field of Tamil journalism.

Sivaram's analyses were devoid of bias. Despite constant threats to his life Sivaram fearlessly exposed Sinhala chauvinism. He said repeatedly that the killers have to understand that Tamil struggle cannot be blunted by killing Nimalarajan, Nadesan or Sivaram. Family or selfish motives never interfered with Sivaram's pursuit of excellence in his journalistic work.

Sivaram has threats from Sri Lanka military intelligence several times in the past. Security forces have forced entry and have searched his residence in the past. Murder was carried out inside the high security zone. Therefore, the Sri Lanka Government and its security forces bear responsibility for this murder.

Forces that cannot stand up to his resoluteness, his firm conviction on issues, and depth and brilliance in broad range of skills, have abducted and murdered him to silence his voice.

We express our condolences to his wife and chldren, and share their grief, as they mourn the loss of a husband and a father.


Reporters Without Borders on the Murder of Dharmeratnam Sivaram "Taraki", 29 April 2005

Reporters Without Borders is revolted at the murder of Dharmeratnam Sivaram "Taraki", editor of the news website TamilNet and Daily Mirror columnist. Four men abducted the well known journalist on 28 April and he was found dead the following morning.

Sivaram, 46, had often told friends that he feared for his safety. "My life is in serious danger," he told Reporters Without Borders in May 2004 after police raided his house and some pro-government media accused him of being a spy for the Tamil Tigers.

He was targeted because of uncompromising coverage of the political and military situation, particularly since the emergence of the pro-government Tamil militia headed by Colonel Karuna.

Reporters Without Borders said Sri Lanka's authorities were guilty of failing to combat impunity in past cases of murders of journalists. In several reports, it had shown that the government, headed by Chandrika Kumaratunga, has protected killers of journalists, particularly Tamil militia of the EPDP, elements in the presidential guard and members of Col. Karuna's Tamil militia.

The organisation called on the government to now do everything possible to ensure the killers and those who sent them were identified, arrested and put on trial.

"The premeditated murder of one of the most renowned Tamil journalists is a huge loss for Sri Lanka's press. Through his website that was visited by tens of thousands of people daily, he provided essential news on the situation in the country," it said.

"Whatever one may think of his relations with the Tamil Tigers movement, Sivaram, was a brilliant journalist", the worldwide press freedom organisation added.

Four men travelling in a Pajero abducted Sivaram late in the evening on 28 April as he was leaving a Colombo bar with friends, just a few metres from the Bambalapitya police station. Witnesses said the men were speaking Tamil.

His body was found the following morning in the Himbulala district, near the parliament building. Sivaram had been killed by several bullet wounds to the head and he bore the marks of a beating. His wife, Herly Yogaranjini, identified his body which will be taken to his native town of Baticaloa for burial. He had three children aged 10 to 16 years. RSF Press Release, 29 April 2005 5


Thamil Nation has lost a Committed Nationalist and a Talented Journalist - Thamil Creative Writers Association, Toronto April 29, 2005

The Thamil Creative Writers Association strongly condemns the cowardly murder of Dharmaratnam Sivaram (Taraki) a well known Thamil nationalist, political columnist and defence analyst.

Sivaram was abducted by unidentified gunmen right under the very nose of the Bambalapitiya police station situated in High Security Zone (HSZ). It is self-evident that his abduction and subsequent murder was the handiwork of the Sri Lankan armed forces helped by Thamil renegades.

Sivaram was a committed Thamil nationalist and a doyen among Thamil journalists. He tirelessly and fearlessly toiled to espouse Thamil national aspirations. His pen exposed the hypocrisy and double standards of the Sri Lankan Sinhala government that ruthlessly suppressed Thamil rights and freedom. In short he was the voice of the voiceless Thamil Nation.

It was then small wonder Sivaram faced death threats from elements strongly opposed to Thamil nationalism. Those elements included the Sri Lankan armed forces, Buddhist Sinhala extremist groups like the Jathika Vimukti Peramuna (JVP), Hela Urumaya etc. These outfits relentlessly attacked him from their platform as a pro-LTTE writer.

The Sri Lankan police twice raided his home in Colombo more to intimidate him than find any evidence of wrongdoing on his part.

But Sivaram refused to be intimidated and insisted on moving among his people. He travelled extensively. He was planning to visit Batticaloa for the May day celebrations. His wish that in case of death he should be buried in his native village speaks volumes of his sterling character and his love for his land and people.

Sivaram has visited Canada many times, but the Canadian government refused him a visa when he wanted to come to Canada last December. However, we saw and heard him at New Jersey where he was a guest speaker at the seminar hosted by the World Thamil Organization, Inc.

Sivaram was a full time journalist who began his career as a columnist with the Island newspaper in the late eighties. Lately he was writing regularly in the Daily Mirror and Virakesari newspapers published in Colombo.

All his articles both in English and Thamil were extensively read and digested both by his friends as well as his foes. The articles were re-published in many newspapers, magazines and web sites around the world.

Sivaram was also a most sought after radio interviewee by BBC Thamil service, ITBC (London) CTR (Toronto), Thamilcholai (Toronto) etc. Last Sunday evening (April 24) Thamilcholai radio carried Sivaram’s weekly interview alive on the air-waves, probably the last one by him in an electronic media.

Sivaram is a self-made scholar who wrote extensively on national affairs both in Thamil and English. He was considered the best defence analyst who possessed an in-depth knowledge on military science. He wrote with courage, conviction and passion but never one-sided or biased like Iqbal Athas of the Sunday Times.

TCWA is conscious of the futility of protesting against the cold-blooded murder of Sivaram. Protests over the murders of other journalists like BBC correspondent M. Nimalarajan within the HSZ in Jaffna have been in vain. Likewise those who killed journalist G. Nadesan in Batticaloa have not been brought to justice by the long arm of the law. Political murders like that of Kumar Ponnambalam and Chandra Nehru have also been swept under the carpet by a corrupt and racist government.

The GOSL had clandestinely allowed the first accused in the murder of Nimalarajan to escape to UK. The accused was the district organizer of EPDP in Kytes.

The brutal murder of Sivaram has robbed Thamil journalism, where there was already paucity for talented journalists in English, of a well-informed, talented and courageous journalist. It is our duty to continue his unfinished task. That is the only way to foster his memory and show our affection and gratitude to him.

It is the duty of the Thamil Diaspora to help Sivaram’s wife and three young children who have lost an illustrious father and the breadwinner of the family. TCWA with the help of Diaspora Thamils will launch a campaign to help Sivaram’s family.

Sivaram is no more among the living, but his contribution to Thamil nationalism will be fondly remembered and cherished by a grateful Nation for ages.


International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns actions of Sri Lanka Police & Second Raid on Sivaram's Home, 27 July 2004

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), a global organisation representing over 500,000 journalists worldwide, has today condemned recent actions by the Sri Lankan police threatening freedom of expression in Sri Lanka.

"It is the responsibility of the police to work to protect journalists' rights and to act in the interests of a free press, not against it," said IFJ President Christopher Warren today.

On 23 July 2004, a dozen police raided the house of Dharmaratnam Sivaram a columnist with the Daily Mirror and board member of the news website tamilnet.com. It was the second raid by police in three months, the previous raid occurring on 3 May.

In a separate incident, on 21 July police disrupted a joint protest organised by press freedom organisations in Colombo. Police blocked the highway to the South and ordered vehicles to take byroads in an effort to disrupt the protest. Up to 400 people attended the demonstration. The demonstration was protesting the police assault on 14 July of journalists covering a funeral in Kosgoda, Galle district in Southern Sri Lanka. At the 14 July incident, police assaulted four journalists.

In a letter to the Government of Sri Lanka, the IFJ condemned the actions taken by the police in these incidents and called for a public explanation for the raid of Sivaram's house.

"The actions taken by the police are deplorable and the Government needs to act immediately to quash this heavy-handed approach being taken by the Sri Lankan security forces," said Warren.

In a separate incident, the IFJ has called for an investigation into the shooting of Sada Sangaralingam Kamaladasan, a journalist with the Thinamurusu Tamil weekly on 26 July. Kamaladasan was shot in the legs and is in a critical condition in Batticolo hospital. There is no known motive for the shooting.

The IFJ has condemned the shooting and called on the authorities to launch a full investigation into the attack.

Further information is available on in the IFJ Asia website at www.ifj-asia.org


Free Media Movement voices concern over intimidation of Sivaram,  27 July 2004

In media release distributed in Colombo today the Free Media Movement (FMM) said that it viewed with concern "the police search of the residence of journalist Dharmaratnam Sivaram for the second time in a short period of time," and the statement by the Sri Lanka Government that "Mr. Sivaram will be interrogated on the news item posted on the Tamil Net" to reveal the source of the news. "FMM requests you to halt the tactics of intimidation," added the media release.
Full text of the media release follows:

"Inspector General of Police
Mr. Indra de Silva,
Police Head Quarters,
Colombo 01.


Dear Inspector General,

The Free Media Movement (FMM) wishes to inform you that it is deeply concerned on the police search of the residence of journalist Dharmaratnam Sivaram for the second time in a short period of time. Mr. Sivaram is an editorial member of the ‘Tamil Net’ web site.

On mid night 3rd May 2004 his residence was searched by the police but were unable to discover anything or activity contrary to the law of the land. The FMM deems this second attempt as an attempt by the police to intimidate Mr. Sivaram.

Journalist Sivaram contributes to the mainstream newspapers in Sri Lanka and is an internationally acknowledged journalist. His feature articles as well as stories posted on the Tamil Net website, which are critical towards the government and portray social and political developments in Tamil society, and are invaluable in securing diversity in the Sri Lankan Media.

In this background attempts to intimidate Mr. Sivaram should be considered as a threat to the freedom of _expression. In this context, the FMM requests you to halt the tactics of intimidation adopted by the Police against Mr. Sivaram and to allow the rule of law to take its due course.

Furthermore, FMM is deeply concerned on the statement made by Mr. Thilak Ranaviraja, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Public Security and Law and Order, that Mr. Sivaram will be interrogated on the news item posted on the Tamil Net regarding the mass killing of Tamil militants in Colombo on the morning of 25thJuly 2004. Tamil Net was the first to break the news on what appeared to be a clash between two Tamil militant factions.

The Police do not have any right to ask journalists to reveal their sources. It is a basic right of journalism to not disclose news sources. FMM requests the IGP not to direct any police officer to find out sources of Journalists.

Please note that FMM will be issuing this letter to the media here and abroad.


Reporters without Borders on Post midnight raid on Sivaram's home,  23 July 2004

"A dozen police without a warrant searched the Colombo home of Dharmaratnam Sivaram, editor of the news website tamilnet.com, for the second time in three months on 23 July. Reporters Without Borders deplored the post-midnight raid as unjustified and said it was worried about his safety.

A dozen police without a warrant searched the Colombo home of Dharmaratnam Sivaram, editor of the news website tamilnet.com, for the second time in three months on 23 July. Reporters Without Borders deplored the post-midnight raid as unjustified and said it was worried about his safety.

When police arrived, Sivaram, who works for the national Daily Mirror and founded Tamilnet, was with two friends, Rajpal Abeynayake of the Sri Lanka Sunday Times and an MP for the eastern district of Batticaloa, Senathirajah Jeyanandamoorthy, who was searched despite having parliamentary immunity. Police first raided Sivaram's home on 3 May." RSF Press Release 23 July 2004


Reporters Without Borders fears for safety of Tamil journalist Dharmaratnam Sivaram, 4 May 2004

Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières) has expressed its fears for the safety of Tamil journalist Dhamaratnam Sivaram ("Taraki") head of the news website www.tamilnet.com, who has received threats and had his Colombo home searched by police.

The international press freedom organisation urged home affairs minister Amarasiri Dodangoda for a public explanation of the treatment of Sivaram, a columnist and head of the news website www.tamilnet.com, and to provide genuine guarantees for his safety.

Around 40 police raided Sivaram's home on the night of 3 May 2004 - World Press Freedom Day. The journalist was out at the time but his wife and three children were at home. The family feel intimidated. They were only shown an identification car by a police officer. Police, who told the family that they were looking for weapons, searched his office. Possession of weapons is an offence for which an accused can not be bailed under Sri lankan law.

Sivaram, a regular contributor to the Tamil service of the BBC World Service, also received threats from an unknown source. Journalists in Colombo told Reporters Without Borders that paramilitary groups from the east of the country, could want revenge on Tamilnet.com for recent coverage of the spilt from LTTE lead by former eastern commander Karuna.

"Dharmaratnam Sivaram has enough enemies for some vengeful groups to take advantage of the post-electoral situation to target a journalist known to have condemned them and for his stance in support of the Norwegian-sponsored peace process," said Reporters Without Borders in its letter to Amarasiri Dodangoda. This search was conducted while Norwegian peace delegates are in Colombo at the invitation of the president.

Sivaram himself told the organisation, "there appears to be a major threat to my life." In 2001, Sivaram was branded as a spy for the Tamil Tigers and was attacked by armed men.

Tamil journalist Mylvaganam Nimalarajan was murdered a few days after October 2000 elections, the organisation recalled.

Reporters Without Borders defends imprisoned journalists and press freedom throughout the world, as well as the right to inform the public and to be informed, in accordance with Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Reporters Without borders has nine national sections (in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom), representatives in Abidjan, Bangkok, Buenos Aires, Istanbul, Montreal, Moscow, New York, Tokyo and Washington and more than a hundred correspondents worldwide. © Reporters Without Borders 2004


கனடாவிலிருந்து உதயன் துரை... 12 May 2005

சிவந்த குருதியில்,
சிவராம் கிடக்கையில்
உள்ளம் துடிக்குது
உதிரம் கொதிக்குது

கையில் பேனாவால்
கடமை செய்தவன்
கண்ணின் இமைபோல
தமிழைக் காத்தவன்

கொண்ட பாதகர்
கொடுமைக் காரர்கள்
வெந்த தீயிலே
விழுந்து சாவார்கள்

பூசை போலவே
சேவை செய்வதே
புண்ணியவான் செய்த
புனிதக் குற்றமாம்

வாரும் நல்லவர்
வந்து கேழும் இந்த
வஞ்சகக் கொலை
செய்த மனிதரை

உள்ளம் ஆறுமோ!
உணர்வு மங்குமோ!
ஐம்புலன்களும்
அழுது புலம்புது

வெள்ளை உள்ளமாய்
இருந்த மனிதரை
கள்ள உள்ளமாய்க்
கவர்ந்து சென்றனர்

கொள்ளை மனிதரா
கொழும்பில் உள்ளது?
கொலை வெறியரா
மனிதர் என்பது?

புத்த பிக்குவா
புனிதர் என்பது?
மக்கள் கட்சியா
அழுகின்றது?

சொந்த நாட்டிலே
சோகம் வருவதா?
வந்த பாட்டிலே
உயிர் பறிப்பதா?

மூன்று குஞ்சுகள்
தந்தயானவன்
மூச்சிழந்து
தெருவில் கிடப்பதா?

அந்தக் குஞ்சுகள்
அழுது குழறினால்
அண்ணன் மீண்டும்
இங்கு வருவாரா?

பந்த பாசமே
பரித விக்குது
பாரினிலே தமிழர்
துடி துடிக்குது

அன்பு மனைவியும்
அழுது புலம்புது
ஆதாரத்தை இழந்து
அலறித் துடிக்குது

கொள்கை வீரர்கள்
கொதித்து எழுந்தனர்
மண்னைக் காத்தவரை
மதித்துப் போற்றினர்

சிங்கக் குகையிலே
சிறுத்தையானவன்
சின்னத் தனத்திற்கு
சினங்கொண்டு எழுந்தவன்

எழுத்தினாலே
இதயம் வென்றவன்
மனத்தினாலே தமிழீழம்
மலரக் கண்டவன்

எந்தநேரத்திலும்
செய்தி கொடுப்பவன்
எங்கள் மண்ணுக்காய்
எழுதித் தள்ளியவன்

வந்த காலனை
வருமுன் தெரிந்தவன்
சொந்த நலனுக்காய்
சோடை போகாதவன்

எந்த எதிர்ப்பையும்
எதிர்த்து நின்றவன்
சொந்த மக்களுக்காய்
உயிர் துறந்தவன்

கன்னித் தமிழிலும்
கட்டுரை வரைந்தவன்
எண்ணித் தமிழரை
வியக்க வைத்தவன்

ஆங்கிலத்திலே
ஆற்றல் படைத்தவன்
அன்னியர்க்கு தமிழர்
யாரென்று சொன்னவன்

புலிகள் படையின்
வீரம் சொன்னவன்
எலிகள் படையை
எசித் தள்ளியவன்

அந்தத் தமிழனை
அரக்கர் கொன்றனர்
நெஞ்சம் தவிக்குது
நெருப்பாய்க் கொதிக்குது

நிரபராதியாய்
நின்ற அண்ணணை
நீதியில்லாத
கொடியோர் கொன்றனர்

திண்மை கொண்ட
திறந்த நெஞ்சினன்
வன்மை கொண்ட
வரலாற்றாசிரியன்

கொள்கைக்காக
உயிரைக் கொடுத்தவன்
குலத்திற்காக
வாழ்ந்து காட்டியவன்

தராக்கியெனும் புனை
பெயர் கொண்டவன்
தமிழுக்காக
தன்னை ஈந்தவன்

புறநானூறிலே
கண்ட வீரம்
புலிகள் காலத்தில்
நடக்குது பாரீர்

மாவீரனாக
வாழ்ந்து காட்டியவன்
மக்கள் விடுதலைக்காய்
மாடாய் உழைத்தவன்

உந்தன் வாழ்க்கையை
எண்ணி வியக்கிறோம்
உந்தன் கொள்கையை
பற்றி நிற்கின்றோம்

வெற்றி வாழ்வை
தமிழர் வாழ்வார்கள்
வென்று ஒருநாள்
உனை மகிழ்விப்பார்கள்;

வெல்லும் தமிழீழம்
உன்னைக் கொண்டாடும்
செல்லும் பாதையில்
உன் வழிகாட்டும்

Mail Us up- truth is a pathless land - Home