UK war crimes Police arrest suspect for murder of Sri Lankan journalist in Jaffna in 2000

LONDON, AFP: UK war crimes Police have arrested a suspect in connection with the 2000 murder of famed Sri Lankan journalist Mylvaganam Nimalrajan during the country’s brutal civil war, they said yesterday.

Officers from the Metropolitan Police’s War Crimes Team in London arrested a 48-year-old man in Northamptonshire, central England, on Tuesday and released him “under investigation”, a statement said.

Police have appealed to members of the Sri Lankan community for any information that might help in the investigation into the murder of Nimalrajan, who was killed by unidentified gunmen at his home in October 2000.

Nimalrajan was a Tamil journalist based in the northern Jaffna peninsula who reported for various news agencies, including the BBC, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

He was one of the few independent news sources in Jaffna, a conflict-torn region where journalists were rarely allowed free access during the 37 years of conflict, said CPJ.

“This is an important update in what is a sensitive and complex investigation,” said Richard Smith of the Met.

It is estimated that more than 100,000 people were killed in the Sri Lankan civil war between the Tamil minority and the Sinhalese majority, which ended in 2009.

International rights groups and UN estimates put the number of Tamil civilians killed by government forces at around 40,000 in the final months of the war, a figure disputed by Colombo.

Under the UK’s ‘no safe haven’ policy, UK police can investigate anyone who may be within UK jurisdiction and who is suspected of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide or acts of torture anywhere in the world.

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