27 January, 2021

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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

  • 51
    2

    Only way out to seek justice is to drive away the incumbent president.

    He has reached all excessive margins to this day – no shame at all. All the henchmen with files support him further, but falling all these by the end of the year – as a glass break into pieces is certain.

    Jaya niyathai Opposition will win this time. Ravaya s predictions will be reality.

    • 44
      2

      Personally and as a Sri Lankan who loves his country, I am one whose heart is grieving for your loss. I have read and admired your Dad’s writings. May he find salvation.

      Like you many millions are looking for solutions and answers. May the Almighty help us all.

      • 10
        0

        it has been reported Jeevan , Dr Maravin have vacated their offices and Vasudewa also planning to do the unthinkable , let’s keep our fingers crossed !

      • 3
        1

        Navin

        you look like ‘jack of all trade, master of none’.

        The way you write comments to every article, you prove that you are an ’empty vessele’.

    • 19
      0

      Dear Ahimsa Wickrematunge –

      May your dearest Father Lasantha Rest in peace.

      Know that he was a true Patriot who loved his country.

      The best that the citizens of this country can do for his, is to defeat the MaRas.

      “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.”

      So every little bit towards this endeavor, to remove MaRa, counts.

      We all need to spread the word.

      It will be sweet to see MaRa defeated on the day your dearest father was killed,

      May he rest in peace.

    • 11
      0

      Ahimsa Wickrematunge –

      May your dearest Father Rest in Peace, and the peoples Condolences for you and your family.

      Bow, back to business, What can people do? Expose. Expose and Expose.

      “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”

      1. Expose by any communications and expose MaRa so that he can deposed.

      2. Ise Boys, men, anybody to throw paint filled balloons to the MaRa cutouts and posters…and get the message across… make Mara dirty.

      3. Ask one each person to throw 5 paint filled balloons at the Mara cut outs ans posters…

      Cut-out duty for Army

      With the beginning of the presidential election Army soldiers in Colombo have been deployed to protect cut-outs of the presidential candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa say report

      They have been instructed to arrange their patrols to cover where Mr. Rajapaksa’s cutouts have been put up. They have also been ordered to take to camps all cut-outs that have been defaced, damaged, disfigured or broken down before early morning.

      A private company has been assigned to replace the cut-outs removed by Army personnel say reports.

      http://www.lankatruth.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7959:cut-out-duty-for-army-&catid=42:smartphones&Itemid=74

    • 1
      0

      Dear Ahimsa Wickrematunge

      “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.”

      We all sympathize with you and your family on the untimely tragic passing away of your father, and may he rest in peace. It is hard for a child to bury a patent who did not pass away by natural causes and old age.

      I was thinking about the parents who passed away this way, courtesy of Medadamulana Mara and his cronies.

      1. UNP Supporter Who Was Shot Succumbs To Injuries

      The deceased is a father of three children.

      The victim identified as Shantha was among the three persons who were injured on Monday evening when UPFA Deputy Minister Premalal Jayasekara alias Choka arrived at the Kahawatte town with several thugs and shot at a group of UNP supporters who were erecting a stage for a common Opposition rally to be held the following day.

      A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Jayasekara, but the Police claim he has fled the area.

      2. Aluthgama attack

      BBS and Medamulana Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Cronies killed her father.
      Futhermore, many who were arrested were released.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTbhlVxs5xc

      3. There are many , many other orphans…Want to know who is responsible

      http://www.lankatruth.com/home/images/persons/mahind_rajapaksha/mahinda2015.jpg

  • 38
    2

    Our deepest condolences. RIP. Let the Jan. 08 be a day millions of Sri Lankans are starving for a change!!
    A change your father and handful of journalists fought against team of Goliaths very courageously….

    • 20
      3

      Courage is about to pay off. It always does.

      For Lasantha, for those who fought for him and for thousands of others. Who have been been mistreated with absolute cruelty in this country.

      Cheers!

      PS: The coward behind brutal murder of LW better pack his bags. Go into eternal hiding. Before 8th Jan. 2015. His day in court is near.

  • 36
    2

    We all understand the agony of Lasantha’s family, we are helpless but we can change this barbaric regime soon and we hope murderers of your father will be punished by the people of Sri Lanka very soon.

    • 29
      2

      Murderers of Lasantha and Baratha are both related to incumbent president.

      Now MS being the common oppo candidate with JHU backing – much more about prima facie evidence of those murders will surface soon.
      I heard JHU minister Ranawaka revealing that the corruption and all abuses of the MR regime is 5000% compared to any other regimes in the past.
      All these would wake up the nation is my wish – now it is gone beyond all ethic and moral levels. MR should be punished within the country no need to hand him over to Hague. People of the island are strong enough if they would grasph all these coming weeks.

  • 37
    1

    Ahimsa,
    Love to you all.
    Lasantha – rest in peace.

  • 38
    3

    May the spirit of Lasantha W will chase away the Rajapaksas on 9th Jan in a Mihin Lanka plane to some African Banana republic to live ever after.

  • 2
    16

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

    • 12
      1

      Nishantha, Looks like you’ve been making more stupid comments. Why are you shopping for the goon squad? Mmmmm mane you’re one of them? Truth hurts eh?

    • 5
      0

      Hey Nishantha, don’t show your ugly face in a post about a great gentleman warrior called Lasantha. You do not belong here, go somewhere else.

  • 35
    2

    Dear Ahimsa,

    As a father of children, I can feel your pain. My fervent wish is that on the 9th Morning of Jan 2015 Gota will be arrested for his crimes. I wish he is not given the privilege of a court hearing and will be executed at the same place your father was killed. He , MR ,Basil and their ever expanding family rule have brought too much pain for us citizens to bear anymore.

    RIP Lasantha

    • 12
      16

      Hey Gune,
      Having wishes like the one you’ve mentioned , you’re just as evil as the current mob !!. Two wrongs does not make a right and remember what the Great Mahatma Gandhi said , ” Eye for an eye and soon the whole world will be blind “.
      A fair trial is what you should wish for any criminal.

      • 28
        0

        Hi Maha Danna Muttha,

        My apologies and thank you for bringing me to my senses. But a child’s plea for her father when we all know who the killers are was just too much for me to read. Sorry again.

        Gune

      • 3
        1

        Dear Maha…while appreciating you point of view ..I should differ on certain thoughts on the so called ”Mahatmaa” – Gandhi always supported the cast system – claiming it as a social order ( Periyaar Raamasaamy is greater to Ghandi in this subject…I guess !!?) …also I have one more question …how come that it was always young pretty maids who carried Gandhi in their shoulders in his last days !!? Why only young girls !!?

        • 5
          3

          the brits called him a `naked fakir` in those days
          (guess folk have not read pandith nehru’s writings or the london treaties) because it also meant pedo putadha. Guju buy and sell like Anslem when all you northerners quarrel tam-ill. Yes or no buddy??

          • 2
            0

            Haahhahaha…yes man—

      • 5
        3

        Maha Danna Muttha ,

        Honesty is the best policy but the man who follows it is not an honest man isn’t it??
        Copying Gandu so arn’t you telling the audience that you copy Hitler himself- “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” & ofcourse MaRa & the mercenaries including family-“”The victor will never be asked if he told the truth.-quote of passa .”

        Gune, like other admirers of the `slippery slop`/ domino effect would undoubtedly and more so over practically precisely go for Mara’s & Goo’tas dear loving friends tomb- Libya not forgetting the Arab Spring and seeing the murderer out.

        Om Tat Sat – śāntiḥ; śāntiḥ; śāntiḥ; (bliss)
        @ centre point topography India: 0,0,0, – Gandu- Modi Mooth Maro!

        No right thinking Indian at campus or elsewhere would want to quote the miserable sloth who sold them for a brothel Jinha and Gazal babes.

    • 8
      1

      Dear Gune, I appreciate your great respect towards the family of my first ever friendly boss in the field of Media and Human Rights.Lasantha has been my inspiration to date…I gratefully recall the great memories …working by his side for over a decade….!!!

      My fear is that these illiterate disciples of Robert Mugabe are certainly going to make our Motherland a failed Zimbabwe !!?

      The Common candidate doesn’t want to address the Tamil issue….The SLMC business kaakkaa Hakkeem seems to be shameless to lick the boots of the criminals Rajapakses for perks !!? …in between we see jackals crossing over ..here and there…!!?
      …Gota should siverely be punished for his arrogant and idiaotic…stupid military way of crimes….

      Is our mass an ass or class in their choice !!?

      Rest in Peace Maestro Lasantha….You shall never be let down…the history shall prove it.
      MMM

      • 8
        3

        Its the real cages at south Africa that the mahawamse `gooo`tas will have to be caged.

        It’s from the square mile where the lioness will have to roar to shoo away the mercenaries from the island.

        Hinurika leads others follow ….. Julia Roberts play that organ sound. TO BE.

        How Can You Mend A Broken Heart??

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8s0KeYpXjs

        • 7
          3

          “The Common candidate doesn’t want to address the Tamil issue….The SLMC business kaakkaa Hakkeem seems to be shameless to lick the boots of the criminals Rajapakses for perks !!? “

          Rev.Devil ,
          You are an intelligent journalist of the past!
          The purpose of morality is to teach you,
          not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live.

          Contradictions do not exist.
          Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises.
          You will find that one of them is wrong.- Ayn Rand
          ….and the middle is always evil like the tamils unable to get together.

          The Hindu; Groundviews in particular think they are some APS/AP news service offering BBC and the rest news to be broadcast.
          A muslim and Indian became Lankan world champs. What have you 2 won??
          JT’s have world records for fraud and one near to your border is the serving- RajRaja.

          ….a practical side ,perhaps TNA is working in the shadows than drive away a large chunk of sihala nationalist.The muslims lead the way from 48 on being in always. Great men steal to take matters to greater heights than copy.

        • 10
          0

          Hi Javi…how are you !!? It’s been a looooong time since we interacted with each other…but …certainly I read you all the time…& Native too….keep enlightening the mass….keep moving my friend…sorry …I couldn’t spend more time here…but always with you…

      • 2
        0

        Reverend Devil please forget about Hakeem and other politicians with Muslim names. After Alutgama, as Muslims we don’t care for these UPFA affiliated mfkrs . We know they are there for the Bandit King, it being irrelevant whether under threat or not, to secure their perks. It will not make the slightest difference to us if at the last moment Hakeem and his ilk somersault into CC Camp. If Maithri had any sense, he will give the same treatment as he dished out to Bebadu Nanasara.

        We as Muslims will vote en bloc for Maithri. We pray for a just equitable united nation under the name Sri Lanka functioning under his Presidency from January 2015. Jayawewa!

  • 25
    0

    It must be ironic that the elections are going to be held on such a fateful day. The terrible murder of your father, shook the media, and brought attention to the brutality of this regime. They have always silenced criticism and the truth being spoken. Your father was brave enough to take them on, but he had to pay the price. We watched with horror as one brother dismissed his murder by saying “who is Lasantha”?, so unstatesmanlike, and more like an arrogant ruffian. If this family was not involved in this ruthless murder, they would have found the criminals and held them responsible, but to this day, the inept Secretary of Defense has failed in that endeavor, perhaps because the all investigations would lead to their backyard.

    I hope you are able to feel some vindication for your father’s death on the 8th of January.

  • 18
    0

    I keep repeating for some time now. This MURDEROUS AND CORRUPT TO THE CORE MARA FAMILY AND THEIR HENCHMEN will never give up power even if they lose the elections. They already would have orchestrated plan B with the Police,Forces and the Elections Commissioner how to salvage the situation once they are faced with the stark reality of losing all what they have amassed by dubious means and also from the blood of the poor masses through taxes.

    They will incarcerate the Elections Commissioner only release him to announce the winner, which will be none other than the MURDERER himself and will have all their henchmen to fire crackers and that will be it, regardless of any number or more votes MY3 would have polled.

    My advice to all civic conscious people is to hit the streets in large numbers and make it obvious that they voted for a change and they really deserve it. If we fail in our resolve this time, it will be now or never and MARA AND THE CLAN will get into every one’s veins and plunder this nation to it’s limit as if Sri Lanka is their private property. Even now it is the case and it will only worsen.

    It is now or never. We should do this for the sake of Lasantha,Bharatha Lakshman, Sooriarachi,Sarath Fonseka,Shirani and all the innocent lives taken away by this MURDEROUS SWINDLER, not to mention the wanton killing of innocent Tamil civilians during the war,which could have been avoided and still won the war against the terrorists. If that was not enough, MARA also let lose the BALU SENA DOGS on innocent unarmed Muslim women and children in A & B by taking cover in an overseas tour and also made it a point to send MERCENARY GOTA also out of the Island so that the dogs will have a field day to cause maximum carnage.

    It is time for retribution and no VISIT TO TIRUPATHI will save this MONSTER now. The only requirement is a concerted effort from the civil society and all Lankans will have their country back and will be able to live a dignified life

  • 23
    0

    Ahimsa,

    Your pa is a hero admired by many. He is however not the only victim – there are thousands of them who were most unnecessarily murdered.

    Its important that our sympathies extends to them all and the murders and their coverup artists be brought before court.

  • 23
    0

    My Dear.
    I read your article with tears in my eyes. I too share my feeling with you.. A professional journalist to be killed in broad day light is very sad. No doubt this government is behind it. it has been a habit of this government to do this type of horrendous crimes and hide under the carpet.
    Now all these people in government are sacred. all their dirty works will come out soon.
    it is a duty of each lankan to defeat these thugs in politics. suppose if they continue in politics what would happen and how many people will be killd. so I ask all lankans and use your head and do whatbis good for the country. That is to support Maithiri and make him next president.

  • 29
    0

    In memory of Lasantha, let’s make January 8, 2015 a day of Free speech, justice and peace upon all citizens.

    As a respect to Lasantha Make Jan 08 2015 a day to kick out the despotic megalomaniac and bring in a peaceful, united, honest and people oriented Government.

    Let’s all pray for a peaceful country in Jan 08, 2015.

  • 19
    4

    Yes, maybe you will get justice for your father’s murder but maybe you won’t..remember CBK is no angel either. She too hounded your father and Iqbal Athas in her time (to a lesser degree).

    So if the opposition does win, let us all remember that evil is not being replaced by angles but possibly lesser (by slightly) evils.

    Let us also remember:

    power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely -Lord Acton.

  • 22
    1

    Dear Ahimsa,
    It is very emotional! Looking at the picture,Three loving little children near fathers body! The perpetrators will be punished sooner or later. God Almighty is great.

  • 18
    0

    what goes around will come around- Ditta dharma wedaniya karama-Keep believing.

  • 17
    2

    It is time for all peace loving people of Srilanka unite together to get rid of the power of the person who was directly or indirectly but with the full mental and physical capicity ordered the murder of Lasantha and several other innocent civilians of the nation. The people have to deliver their verdict on 8th January democratically to bring back the rule of law. The culprits of the murder of Lasantha and others should be brought under an independent impartial justice system of Srilanka.

  • 14
    0

    What goes around always comes around with interest. Period !

  • 9
    1

    The moment I read your heading my mind moved to this hand-in-glove
    criminal DJ who says that MR should be give the 3rd Term because he
    over-came “terrorism”! I do not think even his wife will agree with
    him to continue support to a declared C R I M I N A L-at-large, and
    who claimed to be your fathers friend!

    May his soul rest-in-peace.

  • 18
    0

    Lasantha was a brave man and he didn’t die in vain. Be assured that his 6th death anniversary will see his killers exposed in all their nakedness. It will be a day of mourning for Lasantha but also henceforth a day of hope for our country.

  • 9
    0

    One thing we have to remember is that these Jokers cannot survive without power and they will go down to any low level to remain in power, as they have NO WHERE TO RUN. It is certainly pay back time and all the citizens should be determined to chase them out with the ballet and expose the Jokers to the entire World

  • 20
    0

    Dear Ahimsa,

    You have your father’s gift for the written word. May the Almighty bless you and your family so you can bear your pain comfortably.

    There are many lives that have been destroyed in the last 25 years or so. Each, with their own stories to tell alas to empty rooms and bare walls.

    Still, on the 8th of January each and every Sri Lankan who really cares about their home and family should go out and cast their vote, fully aware of the consequences of their choice. It is as simply as that!

    There will be Lasantha’s in the future too. The difference hopefully is that those criminals will face the full brunt of JUSTICE.

    Justice and Truth: Principles Lasantha and others have died for.

    FOR YOU AND I!!!

  • 17
    0

    It is terribly tragic and distressing to know what happened to your dear father. May you and your family be comforted and be at peace. May justice prevail where evil has been done. May Sri Lanka endure honorably within the integrity of the democratic principle.

  • 23
    3

    Your father must have been a great man to have named you ‘Ahimsa’. What a wonderful name! He was a great journalist too.

    Please remember in your sorrow and in the memories of your father in the years to come the following in the three languages spoken in a Sri Lanka:

    Kela kela dhey, pala paa dey ( Sinhala )
    Vinai vithaithavan Vinai arupppaan, Thinai vithaithavan Thinai arupppaan ( Tamil)
    You reap what you sow ( English)

    All mean that no one can escape the results of what he/she does. Karma works very justly. You will live to see this unfold in your lifetime. Those who had your father killed cannot escape the penalty.

    May God bless you, your mother and your siblings.

    Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

  • 15
    0

    Hope, god and your father in heaven blesses your family all the strength and goodness of life!

  • 5
    1

    Apologies, in my earlier post, instead of “hope” it should be “May”

  • 18
    0

    Dear Ahimsa,

    Our hearts still grieve for you, your family and for your father. On his death, I wrote an article requesting the government to erect a monument to immortalise your father’s legend. But of course, nothing of that sort could be expected from a bunch of murderers. But with the new dispensation at hand, maybe my proposal will become a reality?

    Hameed

  • 18
    0

    @Ahimsa ,may your dad rest in peace he was a courageous man who stood up for what he believed in.

  • 19
    1

    ” My heart goes out especially to the tamil people who continue to grieve in silence. It’s time for us all to have some accountability”.

    This proves that you are a chip of the old block!

    Continue you writings and take the place your courageous and proud father!

  • 19
    0

    Very moving article.

    Hope you and your family will finally get your justice on 9 January 2015

  • 12
    2

    Ahimsa
    Rajapakse chose 8th Jan because 8 is lucky number for the Chinese.
    Have you not noticed Mahinda eyes are getting squinty

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