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January 15, 2009
Slain Sri Lankan journalist remembered

A newsstand in Sri Lanka, where a prominent journalist was recently slain.

The killing of Sri Lankan journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge last week was made more poignant with the release of a letter written prior to his death, in which he foretold his murder and reaffirmed his dedication to democracy and journalism despite the danger.

“When finally I am killed, it will be the government that kills me,” wrote Wickrematunge, formerly the editor of the independent newspaper The Sunday Leader.  He had been attacked three times prior to the fatal shooting on Jan. 7, for which the government denies involvement.

Blogger “Nalaka Gunawardene” posts a tribute to the slain writer, urging others to keep questioning the Sri Lankan government.

The “Ramblings of a Mind” blog writes that Wickrematunge’s death was unacceptable, and that Sri Lankans can no longer afford apathy.

A writer at Sri Lankan citizen journalism portal “GroundViews” provides an overview of recent attacks on independent Sri Lankan media and worries for the country’s future.

Blogger “Yaacov” in Jerusalem compares the conflict in Sri Lanka to that in Gaza and discusses Wickrematunge’s bravery.

Blogger “Indrajit Samarajiva” writes from Sri Lanka about Wickrematunge’s funeral and accompanying protests.

Watch a video of Wickrematunge’s funeral, attended by more than 4,000 people, from YouTube user vikalpasl:

Photo courtesy of Flickr user DennisSylvesterHurd under a Creative Commons license.

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1 comment


The problem and grave question about Lasantha’s murder is “who did it”? The timing is so perfect, just as the troops are poised to wipe out the separatist. Euphoria filled masses will celebrate. But 4 months after the final showdown when the economic woes strike, the govt will not have a “civil war” to blame and ask people to make a sacrifice. This is when you need a silent media to enable the govt to continue on its merry ways. Best thing for the govt are these advance measures, and leave Sri Lanka with a “brave friendly” media who will willingly report what is censored at the cabinet meetings. This will keep them selling the paper and allow them to enjoy their booze at Colombo’s elitist clubs.
Even now those who were unable to achive the greatness of lasantha and seething with envy are spreading malicious rumours about Lasantha, which do not even deserve mention.
Unfortunately Sri Lanka goes on the basis of “your success is my failure” one I thought was a Sri lankan trait, but now we know it to be a British inheritance.

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