01/09/2019, 13.57
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No justice for slain Christian journalist ten years after his murder

by Melani Manel Perera

In 2009, Lasantha Wickremetunge, chief editor of the Sunday Leader newspaper, was killed in the middle of the day on his way to work. He had criticised former president Mahinda Rajapaska. To cover up the case, four people have been killed.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - Ten years after the murder of Christian journalist Lasantha Wickremetunge, the culprits are still at large, says Lal Wickrematunge, the slain journalist’s brother, in a message issued to commemorate his death on 8 January 2009.

Lal's letter was read by his daughter Raisa during a memorial ceremony held yesterday at the Borella cemetery. Friends, relatives and ministers were present at the event.

"The search for Lasantha's assassins is slow, but the investigation is at a good point," said Minister Mangala Samarasinghe.

Another minister, Eran Wickramaratne, expressed "great embarrassment that the case has not yet been resolved. The police have done their part. Now the Attorney General department and the judiciary should take this case. It is not just Lasantha’s family who wants justice but the whole society."

The Christian journalist was the chief editor of The Sunday Leader newspaper. He was killed in the middle of the day on his way to work.

From the pages of his newspaper he had harshly criticised former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who has always denied any involvement in the assassination. According to the investigation, soldiers were behind the journalist's murder.

For his brother Lal, who lives in exile, " A decade is a long time to grieve, too long to solve a murder." What is more, “Four persons have been killed in the cover up. Four innocents.”

“High ranking police officers are suspected of tampering with evidence,” he added. Such “was the state of our Nation. Reconciliation and closure will not be possible without prosecution.”

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