Darkest day:10 years Lasantha Wickrematunge assassination | Sunday Observer

Darkest day:10 years Lasantha Wickrematunge assassination

The words are still chilling, a decade later. “Who is Lasantha?” retorted a once all-powerful Defence Secretary angrily, when a BBC journalist dared to question him incessantly on the brutal murder of founding editor of The Sunday Leader, Lasantha Wickrematunge who was killed on his way to work 10 years ago this Tuesday.That was a vastly different time. The lights were...
6 January, 2019 0
In some ways, Keith Noyahr’s abduction and assault in May 2008 was the harbinger of the more brutal crime that was to follow. At the time of his abduction, Keith Noyahr was the most senior journalist to be attacked during that dark era for press freedom in Sri Lanka. That dubious honour was claimed by his friend ‘Lassie’ eight months later. Lasantha Wickrematunge and...
6 January, 2019 1
Remembering Lasantha Wickrematunge for his knack of ferreting out news and attention to detail, his first boss in journalism Vijitha Yapa sat across his working table from me to unravel his fondest memories of the slain editor of The Sunday Leader.“Lasantha had friends in many spheres and in all layers, but you could not call them friends in a sense as when it came to a...
6 January, 2019 0
Every day, on my way to work, I would pause the music I was listening to while we drove past one particular wall. I knew it well –white, with the outlines of skipping schoolchildren painted on. Even though the paint cracked and grew dull over the years, my eyes would instantly find it no matter how fast we drove past.It was only when we turned the corner on to...
6 January, 2019 0
Lighting candles in remembrance
No other profession calls on its practitioners to lay down their lives for their art save the armed forces and, in Sri Lanka, journalism. In the course of the past few years, the independent media have increasingly come under attack. Electronic and print-media institutions have been burnt, bombed, sealed and coerced. Countless journalists have been harassed, threatened...
6 January, 2019 0
Lasantha Wickrematunge and many journalists before him were brutally silenced by their opponents, but justice has been long-elusive to their friends, families and loved ones. According to veteran journalist and former Editor of the revolutionary Sinhala weekly Ravaya, Victor Ivan, the killings of journalists such as Wickrematunge speak volumes about Sri Lanka’s political...
6 January, 2019 0
On January 8 this year, when family, friends and colleagues of the late Sunday Leader Editor, Lasantha Wickrematunge gather to commemorate his 10th death anniversary, Shan Wijetunge will also be among the crowd.Once contemporaries who wrote political columns for their respective publications, Senior Journalist and the current Director of the Sri Lanka College of...
6 January, 2019 0
In 2007, journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge published a series of exposes about a murky arms procurement that has since come to be known as the ‘MiG deal’. The articles resulted in Lasantha and his newspaper being sued for defamation over his reporting on the alleged involvement of then Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the transaction involving mothballed MiG-27...
6 January, 2019 0
The white board signed by well-wishers and supporters on January 26, 2015, next to the large photograph  of a thoughtful Prageeth
“He was devastated when he heard the news. It really upset him.” Sandya Eknaligoda recalls how her husband reacted to the death of the late editor Lasantha Wickrematunge who was gunned down exactly a year before Prageeth Eknaligoda disappeared and never returned.January 8, 2009 is one of those days Sandya remembers as clear as a whistle. Her husband, cartoonists and...
6 January, 2019 0
Few sagas defined Lasantha Wickrematunge’s final years as much as his complex and long-standing relationship with Mahinda Rajapaksa. As Wickrematunge was to himself confess in his self-penned obituary, the two had secretly been close friends for most of a lifetime. The editor held Rajapaksa in the highest esteem, rising to his defence frequently in the pages of the Sunday...
6 January, 2019 0