17 November 2017
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  • » 01/10/2017, 16.43

    SRI LANKA

    Colombo: eight years after his murder, no justice for Christian journalist

    Melani Manel Perera

    Wickremetunge Lasantha was murdered in broad daylight on his way to work in 2009. He was the editor of the Sunday Leader newspaper. He had criticised former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who has always denied any involvement in his death.

    Colombo (AsiaNews) – After eight years, the investigation into the murder of Lasantha Wickremetunge has gone nowhere and his family is still waiting for justice.

    Killed in broad daylight on his way to work, the high-profile Christian journalist was the editor of the newspaper Sunday Leader. From its pages, he harshly criticised former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who has always denied any involvement in the assassination.

    Upon taking office, President Maithripala Sirisena reopened the case. However, the journalist's family has lamented the absence of any tangible results. Its attorney, Athula S Ranagala, said that the investigation has stalled.

    On Sunday, family, friends, and some politicians met to commemorate his death, which has not yet been vindicated. For Prof Sarath Wijesooriya, the government’s quest for justice has not gone very far. “There is an invisible power, blocking its rightful end,” he noted.

    For the occasion, the dead journalist’s brother Lal Wickremetunge wrote a letter. Since he is overseas, it was read by his daughter Raisa.

    In it, he notes that today Sri Lanka is a better place to practice journalism, but the past should not be forgotten or revisited.

    Recently, he noted, the media were informed of the existence of phone conversations between Lal Lasantha and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. But their content has not been released.

    Sandhaya Eknaligoda was present at the memorial service. She is the wife of Prageeth Eknaligoda, a reporter and cartoonist who has been missing since January 2010.

    She does not know about his fate, and so believes that she does not have the right to commemorate him. For her, "To commemorate Lasantha, one can light a candle or bring a flower. But I do not know where to bring a flower or light a candle as I do not know what happened to Prageeth”.

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    See also

    26/01/2017 08:03:00 SRI LANKA
    Sri Lanka: January still a "black month" for Journalism

    Journalists and activists remember their colleague Prageeth Eknaligoda, disappeared on 24 January 2010. In the elections which have decreed the Rajapaksa victory, he supported the opponent Fonseka. His wife alleges collusion between the army and the current president Sirisena.


     



    23/10/2012 SRI LANKA
    Family man missing for a thousand days in Sri Lanka
    Prageeth Eknaligoda is a journalist with an independent publication. His wife and young son took part in a sit-in on behalf of missing people in front of the UN offices in Colombo. Activist claims that more than 5,000 people have disappeared in 'white vans.'

    28/01/2013 SRI LANKA
    Sandhaya's fight for her husband, "seized" by the government
    Prageeth Eknaligoda, a journalist and political cartoonist, disappeared in 2010 without trace. For his wife, he was seized because of his opposition to current President Rajapaksa. She told AsiaNews that she would continue to fight despite the lack of money for herself and her children.

    11/08/2010 SRI LANKA
    Christians, activists and politicians call on the government to find missing journalist
    A well know journalist and cartoonist has been missing for the past 200 days. Nothing has emerged about his fate since 24 January, and police is not saying what it knows. Prior to his disappearance, he had backed the opposition against outgoing President Rajapaksa.

    25/02/2010 SRI LANKA
    Solidarity for missing journalist who opposed president
    Prageeth Ekanligoda backed opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka. A month after his disappearance, nothing is known about his fate. So far, the authorities have tried to avoid dealing with his wife’s requests for information and action.



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