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

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.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Binoy Kampmark: US Bomb Strikes Hospital In Kunduz

According to US military sources, “there may have been collateral damage” to the medical facility. “This incident is under investigation.” A statement issued by the office of the President Ashraf Ghani said that Army General John Campbell, chief of US-led forces in Afghanistan, apologised. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: The Fall Of Tony Abbott

The question was one of timing. The Coalition had been registering losses in poll after poll. The Abbott style hardly improved after a spill was forced on the party. Despite claiming that he would be ushering in a spring clean, he continued bypassing ministers and MPs... More>>



Pacific.Scoop: Smaller Pacific States Call For Coal Moratorium

PNG Loop: Leaders of the Pacific Smaller Island States have called on all nations – especially the advanced economies in the region – to rise to the challenge of climate change. They want to steer the world on a path where climate change is no longer a threat to earth. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news