World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Sri Lanka: Fourth Anniversary Of Death Of Journalist


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AHRC-STM-009-2013
January 8, 2013
A Statement From The Asian Human Rights Commission

Sri Lanka: The Fourth Anniversary Of The Death Of The Journalist And Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge

Today, January 8, is the fourth anniversary of the assassination of Lasantha Wickrematunge. Lasantha Wickrematunge was one of the best known journalists and the editor of the Sunday Leader, a newspaper critical of the government. Despite the enormous publicity generated by this broad daylight assassination both locally and internationally, the government has refused to conduct any credible investigation into this murder.

The belief in political circles as well as those who were close to Lasantha is that this was a murder carried out with the full knowledge of the government and that senior government figures were involved. That also explains the failure of the investigation.

A few days before this anniversary the Pradeshiya Sabha member of Kelaniya, Hasitha Madawala, was assassinated. His close associates are accusing the Member of Parliament for Kelaniya, a government minister, Mervyn Silva of involvement in this murder. He has however, publically denied the allegations. Madawala's assassination, like that of Lasantha's took place in plain sight of several witnesses and the killer that arrived on a motorcycle fired several rounds into the air before fleeing.

Meanwhile, there is heavy police and paramilitary presence in the Kelaniya electoral area as there is serious unrest among the people regarding this murder. The associates of the deceased are reported to have said that the heavy police presence is to protect those who are suspected of taking place in the assassination. Those being protected by a large number of policemen include some well known criminal and underground elements.

Also, at the time of this fourth anniversary the government is involved the deepest crisis it has ever faced in terms of the impeachment move against the Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, who is also now treated an enemy of the government. The government is carrying on a widespread propaganda campaign by the state media and by the pasting of posters containing comments derogatory of the Chief Justice.

Meanwhile the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka and the Court of Appeal have announced their judgements which declare the impeachment process as unconstitutional and illegal. The Court of Appeal in fact, quashed the appointment, proceedings and decisions of the Parliamentary Select Committee which dealt with the impeachment.

Thus, by the fourth anniversary of the assassination of Lasantha Wickrematunge the repression by the government has turned inwards creating victims from among its own active politicians as well as senior figures of the government itself. The violence is imploding and the tension is mounting rapidly.

The government has no capacity or will to end the violence and to create stability and peace in the country. The process of violence reflected by the assassination of Lasantha Wickrematunge and also the enormous violence that continues to take place in the north and east has made Sri Lanka perhaps one of the most violent places in South Asia.
Read this statement online
# # #
About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation that monitors human rights in Asia, documents violations and advocates for justice and institutional reform to ensure the protection and promotion of these rights. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN Health Agency Responds To Ebola Spike

UN health agency responds to Ebola spike by deploying team on border of Guinea and Guinea-Bissau More>>

UN Casts Israel As World's Worst Violator Of Health Rights

Israel's army team of medics recently treated 1,600 victims of the Nepal earthquake. More>>

W Thousands Flee Syria’s Besieged Historic City Of Palmyra

As thousands flee Syria’s besieged historic city of Palmyra, UN refugee agency readies response plan More>>

UN Agency To Halt Housing Allowance For Palestine Refugees

Lack of funds forces UNRWA to suspend cash assistance for housing for Palestinian refugees from Syria in Lebanon. Photo: UNRWA/Shafiq Fahed More>>


Bangkok: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphophia

BMA, UN, embassy representatives, civil society and artists stand united with LGBTI Thais on International Day against Transphobia, Homophobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT) at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre More>>

Displaced Iraqis Face Difficulties As Fighting Continues

UNHCR is concerned about the processing arrangements in place at the Bzabz bridge – a series of pontoons across the Euphrates River which marks the boundary between Anbar province and the capital, Baghdad. Photo: UNHCR/G. Ohara More>>

UNESCO Chief Condemns Killing Of Bangladeshi Blogger

Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz The head of the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom worldwide today voiced ... More>>

Philadelphia: Train Crash

Five people have been confirmed dead and more than 136 people injured after an Amtrak train crashed in Philadelphia today at 9.20pm local time.More>>

UN News: Alarming Surge In Bay Of Bengal Crossings

The number of irregular migrants crossing the Bay of Bengal has almost doubled over the past year amid a dangerous uptick in human smuggling and trafficking across the region, according to a new report from the United Nations refugee agency. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news