21 June, 2021

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Ahimsa Files UN Complaint On 12th Anniversary Of Lasantha Wickrematunge’s Murder

Daughter of slain Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge filed a complaint with the United Nations Human Rights Committee against the Government of Sri Lanka, seeking accountability for the regime’s role in the extra judicial killing of the well-known journalist.

Lasantha and Ahimsa

The complaint was filed on the 12th anniversary of Wickrematunge’s assassination by his 28 year old daughter Ahimsa, through her lawyers at the San Francisco based Centre for Justice and Accountability.

“Twelve years ago today, Mr. Wickrematunge was brazenly killed by a group of military assassins on the streets of Sri Lanka’s capital, as part of a systematic attack on the free press by government and pro-government groups. Over the past year, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s government has overseen a concerted resurgence in the persecution of journalists, the CJA said in a media release about the filing.

The complaint alleges that the Government of Sri Lanka perpetrated grave violations of fundamental human rights, including the rights to life, freedom from torture, and freedom of expression, by orchestrating Mr. Wickrematunge’s assassination and failing to adequately investigate it or prosecute those responsible for his death. It requests that the Human Rights Committee ensure that the Government of Sri Lanka conducts an independent, exhaustive, and effective investigation into the attack against Mr. Wickrematunge; prosecutes those responsible at all levels of the Government; apologizes to and compensates the Wickrematunge family for the violations they have suffered; and guarantees an end to these human rights violations.

Wickrematunge was killed while driving to work in January 2009, by a squad of bikers linked to the Sri Lankan Army.

In April 2017 Chief Investigator of the Lasantha Wickrematunge murder at the CID, IP Nishantha Silva told the Mount Lavinia Magistrate that the killing was carried out by a military intelligence death squad operating under the then defence secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Investigations by the CID revealed that the death brigade was set up specifically to target and silence journalists. 10 days after Wickrematunge’s murder on January 8, 2009, Gotabaya Rajapaksa ordered the transfer of Major Prabath Bulathwatte to the Sri Lanka Embassy in Thailand. Bulathwatte led the infamous Tripoli Platoon, an unit especially created for the surveillance of journalists, and has been implicated in the abduction and torture of journalist Keith Noyahr in 2008 and the assault on journalist Upali Tennakoon in 2009. Bulathwatte was arrested and is currently on bail as a suspect in these crimes.

Prabath Bulathwatte was promoted to Lt. Colonel by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in February 2020. IP Nishantha Silva fled the country soon after President Rajapaksa took office in November 2019 in fear for his life. SSP Shani Abeysekera, who supervised Silva’s investigations as CID Director has been in police custody on trumped up charges since August 2020.

“Today is the anniversary of my father’s assassination and I live every day with the pain of his loss,” said Ms. Wickrematunge. “The Sri Lankan government killed my father for his independent reporting. Twelve years later, I see those responsible for his death in the highest positions of power within the Sri Lankan government, carrying out the same crimes they committed over a decade ago,” said Ahimsa Wickrematunge.

CJA Senior Staff Attorney Nushin Sarkarati said: “Amid ongoing impunity for the crimes it perpetrated against Lasantha twelve years ago, the Sri Lankan government is once again employing the same violent tactics to target critics and the free press. The UN must use this critical opportunity to condemn Sri Lanka’s human rights violations and advance accountability efforts, to ensure impunity can no longer reign.”

The Human Rights Committee, distinct from the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by State parties.

See Ahimsa Wickrematunge’s full complaint to the Human Right Committee of the United Nations here

 

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Latest comments

  • 13
    2

    Mullivaikkal Memorial in side Jaffna University , honour of Tamils who died during the last phase of the war, was destroyed today during the midnight operation by the Sri Lankan army band police.

    It appears the government wants to incite young Tamils to take up violence and shout LTTE to cover up the devastating economic situation that is gradually unfolding

    • 11
      0

      This happened on the day Lasantha Wickrematunge was murdered 12 years ago

      and on the day after the Indian Foreign Affairs Ministers visit to Sri Lanka

      what message is Gota sending?

      • 4
        0

        His message is loud and clear. SL is in charge of internal affairs. Others must keep out and they do.

        Only solution is division of the island into 3 mono ethnic nations equitably. Until then Sinhala supremacy will rule over Tamils and Muslims bulldozing everything that is different to Sinhala views. Nothing new. But greedy racists on all 3 tribes fail to see the solution! They are the root cause of the problem.

      • 1
        1

        It says we are coming for you.

      • 5
        1

        Rajash

        “what message is Gota sending?”

        Nothing.
        Look what did Wimal Sangili Karuppan boast in 2018? He wanted to evict Ranil from his official residence, bomb the parliament, carpet bomb Vanni, ….. and many …

        Look at Trump what messages did he send over the last 5 years. At the last minute he was forced to eat his own words and twitter messages.

      • 7
        0

        Ahimsa, thanks for keeping this matter alive and may you find peace from the trauma and wound’s of your dear fathers death.
        However, the plain truth is that Sri Lanka is being played by the US Deep State and NATO at this time, because of ties to China and Russia, and you are being used by USA to do this. Ukraine is a US proxy state now- after CIA staged a coupe on Russia’s border – true Cold War style in post-Cold War Europe!
Sri Lanka’s and the US citizens Rajapaksa family’s love-affair with Udayanga’s Ukraine was brokered by the CIA and the US govt. which has 800 military bases to protect “Human Rights” and stage coups and assassinations all over the world. USA has a long and distinguished history of destroying democracy and war crimes around the world! Did the US have a had in some of the assassinations in Sri Lanka? Yes, certainly the assassination of SWRD Bandaranaike was a Cold War operation when CIA was weaponizing Islam and Buddhism and monks to fight communism and socialism in the Asia and the third world.
Please read the book: ‘The United States of War” by David Vine.
Joe Biden’s son was running an oil company in Ukraine after the CIA staged a coupe in that post-Soviet republic to get it away from Putin.


  • 9
    0

    What an irony in naming his daughter AHIMSA in a country where this is nonexistent.
    I admire Ahimsa for the fight for Justice for her father.

    je sius…..[ We salute you]

  • 12
    0

    I have always wondered how these men
    after committing such cold-blooded murders
    go home and hug their children
    guide them in their homework
    sit together as a family and have dinner
    hoppers with seeni-sambol
    and finally lie in bed with their partners
    with the lights turned off.

    And then on the week-end
    go to the temple
    and sit under the canopy of the Bo tree
    by the glistening white Dagaba
    gazing at the gentle rays of the evening sun
    falling on the swaying reeds
    on the edge of the stream
    passing silently by the green paddy fields.
    Did these men …
    Oh these brave men of the military intelligence death squad
    Find what they were looking for?

    -Ajay

  • 6
    0

    Rajash: He is a Monumentally Arrogant person who is thumbing his nose at everybody. He will get his just desserts soon!

  • 7
    0

    A Sri Lankan minister recently said in a media briefing that none of the dead in the Mahara prison killing were shot or had bullet wounds. .Forensic and JMO evidence demonstrates that all eleven were shot dead. Will he tender a public apology to the bereaved next of kin of those dead people who were remanded but not charged? The same minister publicly said he would “treat him well” when Ranjan Ramanayake, MP eventually arrives in prison. Very generous of him, huh..

  • 7
    0

    I can’t wait to read comments about how an unpopular Rajapakse government is destroying monuments and rousing up Tamils in view of elections to capture the Sinhalese Buddhist vote. These same people would have kept quiet or say that the Tamil diaspora and fringe extremist elements in the Tamil society are trying to rife things up, had this occurred during good governance.
    Meanwhile, Sri Lankan state continues to erase and criminalise Tamil memorialisation, either using the occupying military or through legal avenues for over a decade.

  • 1
    9

    Jaffna University is funded by public purse.
    Lecturers who are paid by the state spend all their time on ethnic politics.
    Time to say no.

    Soma

    • 5
      0

      soman

      “Jaffna University is funded by public purse.”

      So are all state sponsored projects.

      “Lecturers who are paid by the state spend all their time on ethnic politics.”

      So are state functionaries however they spend all their time carrying their boss’s b***S, including ……

  • 8
    0

    Here is a “CHILD” – a daughter looking for answers for the last 12 years, “Why” and “Who” KILLED my Father and openly says that the then “Secretary Defense” and the present President knows and have the relevant details and information. That’s a CHILD (now an adult) troubled and in pain for the “Murder” of his father. The person, whom this CHILD thinks has all the “Answers” is the “SON” who built a “MEMORIAL” at a cost of Rs. 69 million (Public money) for his “FATHER” deceased years ago. The puzzle to me is: Why this “SON” has no “HEART” to console a “DAUGHTER” who is trying for a “DECADE” to know TRUTH for the “MURDER” of his “FATHER”? Isn’t he heartless or fear to divulge the TRUTH or both? Why?……….Why?……..

  • 0
    2

    Lmfao. This is her latest stunt. What happened to her previous attempts ? Looks like no one cares for her or her father.

  • 0
    0

    Every house in Sri Lanka has the same loss since 1970. Ask the FP/TULF/TNA they will give you a list hits they made too..

    North to South and East to West of SL all be facilitated at the UN on behalf of all the Mother Lankans.

    CT could list invite all to list and we could make a common UN submission??

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