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Human rights cases

Nadarajah Raviraj, Sri Lanka

The murders of Nadarajah Raviraj and other Tamil MPs have never been solved. Photo courtesy of Tamil Centre for Human Rights

Sri Lankan Nadarajah Raviraj was murdered on his way to work in 2006, one of a series of Tamil MPs to be killed. Those who ordered or carried out his killing have never been brought to justice.

Sri Lankan MP Nadarajah Raviraj was ambushed after leaving his home in Colombo in November 2006 to drive to work. 

Two men held up the traffic before opening fire and fleeing on a motorcycle. Nadarajah Raviraj, 44, and his bodyguard were killed.

Nadarajah Raviraj, a lawyer before entering politics, was a leading member of the Tamil National Alliance, campaigning for the rights of the minority Tamil population in Sinhalese-dominated Sri Lanka. 

He was the second Tamil MP to be assassinated within a year—the previous December Joseph Pararajasingham had been shot during a Christmas service at a cathedral. 

IPU is deeply concerned that neither of the murders has been solved. It says this “regrettable” situation should prompt the Sri Lankan authorities to do everything possible to look for fresh evidence and re-examine all existing information.

The Tamil National Alliance was seen at the time as having unofficial links with the Tamil Tigers rebel group, which was involved in a bitter struggle with the Sri Lankan authorities. War crimes have been alleged against both the Tigers and the government. 

The rebels were eventually defeated in a major military operation in 2009, which sparked further allegations of gross human rights violations.