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Journalist's twin brother killed in apparent case of mistaken identity

(FMM/IFEX) - The following is a 27 October 2007 FMM press release:

Journalist's twin brother killed in case of mistaken identity

The killing of Kangarajan Pradeepan (aged 26) on 26 October 2007 in Jaffna has given rise to the suspicion that he was mistaken for his journalist brother. Pradeepan is the twin brother of Kangarajan Prashanthan, who worked for the "Navadu Eelandu" newspaper until it was closed in 2006.

The newspaper had to close down after its managing director, Sinnathamby Sivamaharajah, was shot dead at his residence in Tellippalai, Jaffna, on 21 August 2006.

Selvarahj Rajivarnam (aged 24), another journalist who worked for "Navadu Eelandu", was shot dead by unidentified gunmen on 30 April 2007 as he was cycling to his workplace on Rasaavin Thoaddam Road in Jaffna. He had joined the "Uthayan" newspaper as a crime reporter four months prior.

Pradeepan was cycling to his workplace in Jaffna city when he was shot dead at Browns Road by gunmen on motorcycles at around 8:30 a.m. (local time) on 26 October. His twin brother also cycles on the same route to work daily, but on that fatal day he did not go to work. They lived in Kokuvil, about two kilometres from Jaffna city.

Jaffna sources told FMM that the twins looked very much alike and it was very difficult to distinguish them, even for people who knew them personally. The same sources told FMM that they were unaware of anyone with a motive for killing Pradeepan. FMM fears that Pradeepan was mistaken for his journalist brother and that the latter may be in danger.

Jaffna city and its environments have been governed by the Sri Lankan government for nearly 12 years and all main roads are heavily guarded by armed forces.

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