15 December, 2017

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8th Jan: Poetic Justice For My Father Lasantha?

By Ahimsa Wickrematunge

January 8, 2009: a blood-drenched, day in the media and human rights history of Sri Lanka. A day when tyrannical rulers drunk with power decided they must kill the messenger and let loose their murderous assassins on an unarmed journalist. On that day, my father’s vision for justice and equality ended. The death knell of democracy rang loud and clear.

January 8, 2015:  a day when those very persons responsible for Lasantha Wickrematunge‘s death are asking that a grateful and amnesiatic people re-elect them to power so their bloodlust may continue and thrive.

LasanthaAs the daughter of that journalist, since then, January 8 has been the hardest day of the year for me, and now, the sheer audacity of the Sri Lankan government’s decision to hold the presidential election on the 6th anniversary of my father’s murder, is abominable to say the least.

It is no secret who was behind his death and who gave out the orders. It’s public knowledge. And though I speak from a victim’s standpoint, I am also trying to speak out as a Sri Lankan who is greatly concerned for the welfare of her country. And irrespective of the history, politics and  differences my family has had with this current regime, I only want what is best for my country and my people.

On my last trip to Sri Lanka about two months ago I was shocked and disgusted at how ridiculously high the cost of living is; I witnessed so much poverty and met so many families whose children go days without a meal. It seemed to me that while the everyday Sri Lankan struggles to educate and feed their children, their rulers are unconscionably living large on taxpayer money and induldging in extravagant expenditures, bribery and vulgar tamashas.

On that note, it really warmed my heart to hear that Opposition Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena has declared that certain proceeds from his campaign will go into a fund for kidney patients who can’t afford dialysis treatments.

The only improvements I saw in Sri Lanka seemed to be the beautification programs and the road developments but no amount of quick-fix cosmetic changes will ever justify all the human rights abuses that have and are taking place.

Never in the post-independence histroy of our country has there ever been a leadership that has so much blood and corruption on their hands and brought so much shame to our country’s name. Both Mahinda and Gota continue to take the cake as two of Reporters Without Borders’ Press Freedom Predators. Do not forget that it was this govenrment that was alleged to have deprived civilians in the conflict zone of humanitarian aid during the closing stages of the war. It has systematically attempted to intimidate and silence the media and other critics through a plethora of threats and actions. Only in a totalitarian country like Sri Lanka today would leaders who have been accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity be up for election for another term.

Even though I lost a father I know I’m just one amongst the hundreds of thousands that lost loved ones to the war. My heart goes out especially to the tamil people who continue to grieve in silence. Its time for us all to have some accountability

It is unimaginable that the 8th of January could be an auspicious date for some also considering that It is the birth anniversary of SWRD Bandaranaike and the 6th death anniversary of my father. This 8th of Jan will be even harder because there’s a chance those that took my father’s life will be up for another term. The present President’s astrologer deems it is “auspicious” for him to hold elections on this very same day.

The political party SWRD Bandaranaike founded is in fragments and so was my fathers’ body. Both under the present President who is seeking an unprecedented third term after promising to the people that he would abolish the cursed Executive Presidency.

It was this same President who on several occasions had informed my Uncle Lal that it was Gen Sarath Fonseka who killed my father. There is a case ongoing in the Magistrates Court of Mt Lavinia into my father’s death. I truly hope that he would go that short distance to place such evidence before court. Gen Sarath Fonseka when asked by a reporter from BBC accused the President and his brother Gota of killing my father.

After everything we have gone through as a country pre and post war, I think it’s really time for a change and nine years of what we have been through is enough. Nothing can stand in the way of millions of people calling for change.

If my father hadn’t been slaughtered in a high security zone in broad daylight, there would be no way he would have stayed silent about what has been happening in this “Dhammadeepa”.  But of course he was summarily executed so the evils would remain skeletons firmly locked up.

Just like every right-thinking citizen my heart hurts for my country and my people. Let’s do what’s best for our children and our country.  The choice to dispense with these blights on society and democracy is in our hands.

Note – This article first published on December 9, 2014 

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Latest comments

  • 7
    46

    The author says “On my last trip to Sri Lanka about two months ago I was shocked and disgusted at how ridiculously high the cost of living is; I witnessed so much poverty and met so many families whose children go days without a meal”. Where did you find these children who go days without a meal? This is blatant lies. It is true that the cost of living is high but the wages too are high. The father or mother of the children who go days without a meal, if do a manual work for 7 hours would get 1000/= rupees and may get the meal also free. A housemaid in Sri Lanka gets more than 15,000/= rupees per month and the working hours are 7.00 a.m.to 6.00 p.m. A research paper from a leading university has shown that a beggar in Sri Lanka gets Rs. 6000/= to 7000/= daily on average.

    • 29
      2

      townie assuming you were born yesterday sri lanka is one of the poorest countries get out of here we know who you are go join the rest of the 10 mahinda rajapakses supporters

    • 4
      1

      Are you the person who pulled the trigger on Lasantha? You cannot be human. Never mind, there were people who tried to kill the ‘Enlightened One’, even 2600 years ago. Tried to kill ‘Jesus’ but never succeeded.

      You are definitely one of them who participated in that cold blooded murder of the ‘Jarapassa’ regime. Today will be the last day of the state sponsored terror of the present govt. terrorists. May you be well while rotting in hell. But, do not forget, there are 10 of them (Niraya) to pass through before you are considered to be born again a human.
      You can forward your application now for the ‘Maitree Buddha’ to consider.
      May you be well! Metta

    • 0
      1

      ###### CORRECTION WITH APOLOGIES #######

      In my earlier comment, the 10 Hell realms has to be amended as 4 Hells.
      Just now, I received a text message from one of the kings of those ‘Sathara Apaayas'(Yama Rajjuruwo),threatening legal action for publishing false information. Still, it’s long time for the ‘Maitree Buddha’.

    • 2
      1

      I think so too- how dare you to say this.

      May be these beggars are connected to the most abusive president and his underworld net work though siting at the road side for begging.

      Even the man most known as toypistol mayor is said to be closely connected to the incumbent- as Hirunika revealed it day before yesterday. That kind of beggers turn criminals are empowered by rascal man in power.
      If the nation would not oust him today- no doubt people will pull him out by every means. Or an assasination will do the job soon. This is what history proved not only in srilanka but many countries where the leaders go beyond bearing. Hell is ready to welcome the man at anytime now for all the crimes he made alone during the very recent years ascending 2009

    • 1
      0

      Based on your input.. I bet you would not think twice but happily take a begging bowl and start begging… dumb twit..

      they say..its better to shut up than open ones mouth and prove ones stupidity.. ugh..

    • 7
      1

      Townie; A paid shill.

      Yako, You Moron.

      Manual Weda korandath Kaala Innda ooney.
      Kanda nethuwa Weda korannda Shakthiya nehe.

      [ Even to doo manual Work, One must have to eat get strength].

      Rice I kg 90 Rs.
      sugar 1 Kg 110 Rs
      dhal 1 kg 220 rs.
      Coconut 1 50 Rs.
      tea 1/4 kg 100 Rs
      milk powoder,
      Soap
      Light bill,
      Water bill,
      Transport,
      school expenses,
      Medicine.

      So you moronic Sucker says, People to go begging in the Streets.

      WHY NOT TELL THAT TO GO BEGGING TO YOER PAY MASTERS, THE JARAPASSA CLAN.

      If your Jarapassa Hyena clan rules the country more years,
      Definitely people must go begging!!!!!!!.

    • 3
      0

      Congratulations

    • 1
      0

      Hey Townie, you pseudonym says it all. About 3 months ago the numerous villages in rural areas suffered an unrepresented drought, which resulted in them not even having water to drink, so obviously crops withered which resulted in loss of income, hence no water, no food, no money.

      Secondly, you state that a research paper from a leading university states that a beggar earns Rs. 6-7,000/day, did that paper also include the “FACT” that these beggars are controlled by a cartel that takes away almost all their proceeds ?????

      Please go out of town, Townie, get down from thy steed and walk the dusty unpaved streets with your eyes open before you lay fingers to a keyboard to spout such drivel.

  • 0
    12

    [Edited out]

    • 2
      0

      oh my god is this who we think it is

  • 5
    0

    Yes, I too wonder why it is held on the 8th. It is too bizarre…… sacrificial! Is it a show of arrogance towards the fates that dare tamper with the ancient covenant of Sri Lanka? Did the astrologer and magic man decide on the date to squash the spirits who dare disunite the nation?

    On one hand, it is good if Sri Lanka stays a Unitary State. But on the other hand, if the means that justify the end are too vulgar, are we to disregard long historical and heritage terms and pay attention to present day, modern, contemporary life and thought- one without war and murder(war, torture and murder that have been the bindings of all other covenants from pre-history)? Is the covenant we have, outdated?

    The votes will tell in the end. They will tell if we are to hang on to the ancient ritual, or make break with the spell that binds us to the ancient Heritage. And once broken, we will be “modernized” under the entity of another more powerful Heritage. Would we then become lesser souls of the Neo-Heritage ?

    • 5
      1

      Dear Young Lady Ahimsa.

      I feel deeply sorry for all of you kids, who have lost their Fathers and mothers in all these conflicts created by Our So called Patriotic Politikkas.
      So called Name sake BUDDHISTS.

      Just imagine These Two killer Aaadambara Kaara Thathas,
      who ordered kill your father, are cuddling village Kids, where ever they go to fool people.
      What a shame???.

      I am a Buddhist and I only care about Humanity.
      As a Buddhist I believe that the Sins we have done or doing, canot be Erased or eliminated .
      So the Criminals may be happy now. But in their consciences,
      they will suffer forever.
      They must Suffer.
      You may know that there are many poor children who have lost their mothers, fathers and close reletives Suffering more than you are.
      At least You have your mother to console you.
      But Imagine How many kids who have lost their limbs and who have become mental patients, have lost their memory because the agony given by these two SATANS.
      They are Suffering and They do not Have any body Tell their Story of Sorrow.
      I pray for your Father,
      He may Attain NIBBANA.

  • 5
    0

    May today be the judgement day for Lasantha’s killers.

  • 5
    0

    ENTIRE COUNTRY IS A SWAN LAKE !!! YOUR FATHER TOO IS A PURE WHITE SWAN IN THAT LAKE !! AMEN.

  • 0
    2

    My dear child Ahimsa,

    “Sabbe Sankharaa Aichcha”

    ” The wise abandon darkness and cherish light,
    and leave petty security behind and seek freedom from attachment. To pursue such release is difficult and rare, yet the wise will seek it, detaching themselves from obstructions, purifying heart and mind”

    #Dammapada ~Verse 87-88

  • 4
    0

    If a new government is formed lasantha and other journalists killed should be remembered with a suitable memorial so that future generations can learn and remember.

  • 6
    0

    Yesterday Paris saw the wanton killing of 10 journalists of a satirical by misguided religious zealots and today happens to be the 6th anniversary of another remarkable journalist in our island.
    Whenever and wherever journalist are killed for the message he/ she writes, utters or draws which may be good or bad in one’s opinion ,it is the right to freedom of expression which is common to all of humanity that is stifled.

    • 0
      0

      Correction
      Please read
      satirical magazine

    • 0
      1

      The action of the Paris Journalists, in publishing Satirical Cartoons like these, is like Waving a Red Rag at an already Maddened Bull!

      What did they expect the Bull to do? It has no understanding of what ‘White’ people call Humour

  • 1
    0

    In a country where rural masses have no access to the facts and figures on ground realities such as wastages and credits taken by foregin countries applauding about on going development projects, this kind of rascals could easily come to power on a repeated mode. People would not have any other choice than what they got to read on local news papers- the pictures placing on the right and left side pages of the local most circulated papers to grab the attention of common man who is today under all pressures being unable to think of it- rather do whatever to run the family being caught by terribly unaffordable cost of living. Whoever whatever being explained, the cost of living factor is beyond all margins and going up day to another without any price standards held by any previous govts.

  • 1
    7

    president Rajapakse brought stability, eradicate war , initiate mega projects which are vital for the development
    he practice triumphalism, bred corruption , disregard rule of law
    I am somewhat confused to decide what to do

  • 0
    4

    hmmmmm, Poetic Justice eh? We shall see. We shall see. Ahimsa!? Maybe not. The Pope’s Pavillion. The Galle Face. I think he should swing for what he has done. I think he will bring it upon himself.

  • 4
    0

    Hope getting justice isn’t far off, and really happy for Ahimsha and her family. Hope SF would shed some lights helping to resolve this once an for all. As your father did before, you effort in turn it around the MR wave is great, and he must be proud about you. The worrier he is, He will finally RIP.

  • 3
    0

    Congratulations to you and your family

  • 4
    0

    The voters have given their verdict. The Wickrematunge family, and thousands of other families, should continue to demand justice for the crimes of the Rajapaksas.

    • 1
      0

      The justice is served to the victims of Rajapaksa family. They can lodge new case for the criminal investigations against MARA.

  • 2
    0

    Congratulations to the wickrematunges

  • 0
    2

    Oh here goes…….. the wickrematungas and the ex-mistress samarasinghe have found their bogus voices again……… keep farting… kiss up to my3 and see if it helps your bankrupt policies.

  • 2
    0

    The election result was indeed poetic justice.

  • 2
    0

    Dear Ahimsa,

    I have been reading your article repeatedly, and the comments too…

    Whenever I saw your father , listen to what he said or read what he wrote i felt something in my heart. He was such a wonderful human being who knows the heart beat of another very well. I also felt a sense of belonging in SL.

    The loss of your father is so massive that it does not only affect his family, fellow workers etc , but also those who were voiceless and helpless.

    He will be remembered. And justice for him will be delivered by the nature. Because that’s the best punishment one could get.

    your father is a rarest kind of man we could see in this world.

    Respect and Love to you and all at home.

    Senthilraj

    PS: my usage of English may be incorrect, sorry

  • 2
    0

    If I got Ahimsa Wickramatunge’s statement right, Mahinda tells your uncle that it was Sarath Fonseka who killed your father and Sarath Fonseka says that it was Mahinda and Gota who killed your Father. These cross-accusations takes place after Sarath Fonseka left the establishment. Nevertheless the murder took place when they were united.

    SO BOTH PARTIES KNOW THE TRUE STORY.

  • 0
    1

    sorry for your sadness regarding your father’s death…but your father ignored the cry of many thousand mothers who were seeking justice for their children when blood thirsty tigers were slaughtering every Sinhala and Muslim family they saw…when the whole country was lined up to vanquish the tigers once and for all your father never spoke in favour of it…instead he was very busy accusing the leaders in the war effort, which is pretty bad. As a child of him it’s normal for you to be like this..but for others Lasantha’s death means nothing…and frankly it’s a good thing happened to the country…however your father’s loss means a lot to the media-freedom and human-rights freaks who are always trying to create havoc. When we were in the front line trying to save this country from tyrants what was your father doing? question yourself..I can’t reveal my identity, but for your info, I m a retired Captain from Special Forces regiment from SL army. We know the pain more than you will ever know…

  • 0
    1

    sorry for your sadness regarding your father’s death…but your father ignored the cry of many thousand mothers who were seeking justice for their children when blood thirsty tigers were slaughtering every Sinhala and Muslim family they saw…when the whole country was lined up to vanquish the tigers once and for all your father never spoke in favour of it…instead he was very busy accusing the leaders in the war effort, which is pretty bad. As a child of him it’s normal for you to be like this..but for others Lasantha’s death means nothing…and frankly it’s a good thing happened to the country…however your father’s loss means a lot to the media-freedom and human-rights freaks who are always trying to create havoc. When we were in the front line trying to save this country from tyrants what was your father doing? question yourself..I can’t reveal my identity, but for your info, I m a retired Captain from Special Forces regiment from SL army. We know the pain more than you will ever know……

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