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

 

Peace Deal ‘first Step’ In Resolving South Sudan Crisis

Children at a protection of civilians site in Juba, South Sudan, run by the UN Mission, perform at a special cultural event in March 2015. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine More>>

Yemen: Killing Or Maiming An Average Of Eight Children A Day

Killing or maiming an average of eight children a day, ‘brutal’ Yemen conflict must end – UNICEF More>>

Changing Habits/behaviours Key To Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy

Vaccine hesitancy can be caused by factors such as negative beliefs based on myths, misinformation. Fear of needles can be a factor for refusal. Photo: PAHO/WHO More>>

Burundi: Ban Condemns Assassination Of Senior Army Officer

Refugees from Burundi in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Photo: OCHA/Naomi Frerotte United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the assassination Burundi’s former Army Chief of Staff, Colonel Jean Bikomagu, who ... More>>

Deadly Industrial Explosions In Northern China

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and the injuries to scores of people as a result of deadly explosions in Tianjin, China. More>>

UN Urges Action To Tackle Deepening Refugee Crisis In Greece

A group of Syrian refugees arrive on the island of Lesbos after travelling in an inflatable raft from Turkey, near Skala Sykaminias, Greece. Photo: UNHCR/A. McConnell More>>

Probe Into Those Responsible For Chemical Weapons In Syria

The US Vessel Cape Ray, on which all 581 metric tonnes of a precursor chemical for sarin gas were removed from Syria and safely destroyed as the ship sailed in international waters in 2014. Photo: US Dept. of Transportation More>>

Myanmar Election: UNICEF Urges Prioritisation Of Children

With 99 days to go before Myanmar elections, UNICEF urges candidates make children the clear winner More>>

Liberia Thousands Of Unregistered Children Born During Ebola Crisis

Thousands of unregistered children born in Liberia during Ebola crisis at risk of exploitation – UNICEF More>>

UN Refugee Agency Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Myanmar

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt (left) in Myitkyina township, Kachin State, Myanmar, meeting with some of the 100,000 displaced people who currently live there. Photo: UNHCR/T.Stoddart More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news