Following an all-Sinhalese jury’s verdict, a Sri Lankan court on Saturday acquitted five men, including three Navy intelligence officers, accused of assassinating Nadaraja Raviraj in 2006. A Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian and lawyer, Raviraj had actively sought to engage the Sinhalese on the Tamil national question, addressing them in Sinhala. On 10 November 2006, he and his bodyguard were shot dead on a busy road in Colombo.
There is renewed scepticism over the credibility of the country’s justice system, particularly in cases involving extra-judicial killings implicating the armed forces.
Nadarajah Raviraj was a Sri Lankan Tamil lawyer and politician. He was Mayor of Jaffna in 2001 and a Member of Parliament for Jaffna District from 2001 to 2006. He was member of the Tamil National Alliance, and shot dead on 10 November 2006 in Colombo.
The Sinhalese are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group native to the island of Sri Lanka. They constitute 75% of the Sri Lankan population . The Sinhalese identity is based on language, historical heritage and religion. The Sinhalese people speak the Sinhalese language, an Indo-Aryan language, and are predominantly Theravada Buddhists, although a small percentage of Sinhalese follow branches of Christianity. The Sinhalese are mostly found in North central, Central, South, and West Sri Lanka.