18 April, 2024


Editor Of Sunday Leader Forced To Resign Once Again

Asanga Seneviratne the new owner of The Sunday Leader on Friday the 13th February forced the resignation from the current Editor Shakuntala Perera. Seneviratne who purchased majority shares of the besieged Sunday Leader after the founder Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge was assassinated also sacked the former Editor Frederica Jansz in similar fashion.



Inside sources revealed that the Defence correspondent of the Sunday Leader, Camelia Nathanielsz would be appointed the interim Editor of the newspaper.

During the time Jansz was Editor it was Mahinda Rajapaksa who was President and her infamous run in with Gotabaya Rajapaksa was well documented. Jansz had charged the Asanga Seneviratne had debarred the Sunday Leader from writing about “The first family” ie. Rajapaksa family and that was what set the trigger to send her packing.

Shakunthala Perera was drafted in as Editor to replace Frederica Jansz by Seneviratne but it was common talk that she was head hunted by Sajin Vass Gunawardena and Ajith Nivard Cabraal together with Eshana de Silva with the active support of Anura Fernando a share broker. Shakunthala perera was quite content to go along with the dicatates of this group and most ardent subscribers to The Leader dropped purchasing the newspaper. The sickening adherence and homage to the former Rajapaksa clan from cover to cover left the readership aghast.

Asanga Seneviratne purchased The Sunday Leader to deliver it to the “first family” to whom he paid homage by word and deed quite openly. His foray into Rugby where the Rajapaksa children were given a free run is now legendary. Colombo business and the cocktail circuit together with the embassies were aware that Asanga Seneviratne’s claim to fame financially was through share trading. Most predators who made rich gains through share trading did not have a single brand nor product to call their own during their upward mobility and were keen to invest some of this new found millions into accepted product ranges in order to gain some decent currency.

It is understood that Seneviratne obtained a massive loan to purchase The Sunday Leader by overstating the purchase price to the ruling family of that time who in turn had given the nod that the loan be granted. So much so the former President had mentioned that the he was aware that Seneviratne inflated the figure to the bank.

What gets the goat is that Asanga Seneviratne the very same who has been an ardent supporter of the former President yet continues in that vein hoping and believing the rope given by his erstwhile mate in arms Sajin Vass Gunawardena that Rajapaksa will be back in three months time as PM. That too is alright but for Seneviratne running behind the powers that be in the present regime. People were shocked to see Seneviratne visiting Ravi Karunanayake and Malik Samarawickreme. Some businessmen have perfected the style of hunting with the hounds and running with the hares.

Just a few days after Asanga Seneviratne was seen with the above mentioned heavyweights of the UNP he was back to his familiar grounds with Sajin Vass Gunawardena and Mahinda Rajapaksa. We produce below the letter of resignation of Shakunthala Perera which supports the above;

Dear Mr. Jayatilake,



This has reference to your intimation on 11.02.15 to me that I must with immediate effect, forward all articles finalized for publication to both you as the CEO and Mr. Asanga Seneviratne, before leaving my desk for placement in the said pages and print thereon.

You indicated the pressure brought upon the management, following the article carried in the newspaper on 08.02.15 ‘High-Flying Corruption in Aviation’ by Nirmala Kannangara, hence the decision. I am sorry about this pressure that has come upon you in the course of upholding the public interest and the public’s right to know the truth about their country and government.

I am also in receipt of a letter sent by you on 19.01.2015 directing me and ‘warning’ me against carrying articles that could serve legal implications to the Company, following the publication of two articles ie: ‘Flying high with Public Funds’ and ‘The Rs. 4 Billion Computer Scam’, both connected to corruption under the previous regime. It was also intimated to me that the management was not keen on dealing with such corruption conducted under the previous regime in general, and naming the first family in particular.

As far as I am concerned, these articles were published as a matter of routine, in the best interests of the newspaper and its readership. Many stories of a similar nature have been published in prior editions of this newspaper. The sole criteria for publication on my part during my tenure as editor has been the availability of foolproof documentary evidence. I did no more than publish articles that were foolproof and supported by documentary evidence.It is also pertinent to note that these were not the only individuals about whom investigative stories have been carried. There have been other politicians, public officials and businessmen too.

Therefore, as a journalist who believes in journalism in the public interest I feel that your request that I submit all my copy to you for final approval is difficult to accede to. While I appreciate your concern on the business aspect of the newspaper, it is important to note the crucial role the credibility of the newspaper plays in meeting these interests. The credibility of the newspaper rests on its independence and lack of bias in its reporting. You will agree that even in very difficult circumstances we have always sought to maintain the accuracy and integrity in our news. I have always followed these principles as editor of the Sunday Leader.

It is also my belief that as the editor of the Sunday Leader I owe a certain duty to my readership to carry whatever story that comes my way that highlights misdemeanors and corrupt practices. I also wish to state that on no occasion have these stories been sourced by me. I have merely seen to their publication in the interests of the public. I wish to bring to your attention that my experience as a journalist for two decades has ensured that the practices of responsible journalism has not once evaded me.

It is also pertinent to note that with the change of government, we have been trying to engage in journalism, free from state and political influence, as promised by the new government. I am therefore surprised that while any pressure from the previous political regime has ceased, I am being asked by you as the publisher, to curtail from carrying on my duties as the Editor of the newspaper, and engage in practices that go against the principles and ethics I have hitherto exercised.

I therefore find it very difficult to agree to the suggestion of forwarding articles, which have already been scrutinized by me and received my approval for publication, to be sent to you and Mr. Seneviratne for further approval.I believe this poses a serious threat on the freedoms that I wish to share with my Editorial staff, as well as undermining my role and credibility as an Editor who is called on to act in the public interest; a role in which I wish to remind you I have not failed since I took over.

It is under these circumstances that I wish to tender my resignation from the post to you

Sgd: Shakunthala Perera

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Latest comments

  • 15

    Sakunthala, do you have a facebook account? i want to add you…lovely[Edited out]

    • 4

      CT your double standards are beyond belief: is it that they are selective or you are ignorant?

      @Paul – Well spotted, it was a mistake and now edited out. Thank you – CT

    • 3

      Shakuntala Perera.

      RE: Editor Of Sunday Leader Forced To Resign Once Again

      See What Tissanakaka was saying before he sold his Soul for Money for Medamulana Mahinda Rajapaksa?

      Did you also get paid well for the services to the MedamilanamaRa Clan?

      Whay dis they block lankaenews, lankanewsweb, Colombo telegraph, Jaffna Muslims,etc. Why? Why did your MaRa Bosses Block? Crooks and Robbers?

      web debate, tissa attanayaka 06.06.2014


  • 11

    CT cries fowl about that woman Sakunatala Pereira being forced to resign, but does not write about Daily News Editor and senior journalist Rajpal Abeynayake being unceremoniously and inhumanly removed from Daily News editor. is it this no double standard? shame

    • 7

      So funny..believe you meant ‘Rikaza Hassan’..get the name right. Poor bugger Rajpal screwed all over..by women and by the State..anyone else would have shot themselves rather than living that pathetic life

      • 5

        True that Ranjan..short, ugly and unemployed..when you have a bad day just remember, Rajpal has it worse!

    • 4

      CT says ‘In journalism truth is a process’ but it appears that their version of ‘truth’ is very one sided indeed.

    • 4

      Fowl? did u mean CT does a cock a doodle doo? or FOUL and the name is Hassen not Hasen…

      Glad she has a spine to tender her resignation than suck up to the whims and fancy of her CEO and owner… shame on both of em for trying to suppress what we the public is entitled to know..

  • 8

    This is simply a case of chickens coming home to roost. It is only the Sajin Vaass Goonewardenes and Asanga Seneviratnes who can make somebody like Shakuntala look like the heroine of a soap opera such as this, as tawdry as it is!

  • 10

    The Sunday Leader is a rag that has lost all credibility. Thanks for the expose on the current owner and where his loyalties are. It is truly sickening to see this kind of manipulation in the media. One warning regarding this douch bag owner and his affiliations, if the UNP seriously thinks that yahapalanaya means keeping all the crooks who indulged in the most despicable corrupt acts in their jobs without sacking them and taking them to task then they have made yet another tragic mistake that will cost them dearly. Voters want justice and some times even revenge and they are impatient. Act as if it does not concern you and carry on in the true RW fashion and get what you deserve. The is what this news paper owner and others are waiting for. They know the style of RW of being indifferent is a recipe for disaster. The tragedy is does RW and others in the UNP who subscribe to similar views realize it?

    • 4

      LOL. When did the SundayLeader ever have credibility? It is a well known rag that engaged in vicious racism and promoting Christian Evengelicaism. Its “quality” of journalism from its beginnings would not be accepted anywhere espiecally the West -the bastion of free media and rights and so on. All those who work for it (lasantha including) would never be employable and it simply would not be in publication in the West.

      And if you want to crusade against corruption and good governance (and think a man like Ranil would ever give it) ask how did Sonali Amarasinghe (Lasantha’s GF while he was married with children) became the SL Ambassador to Australia from 2002-04? This was a favour requested by Lasantha from to Ranil to give his GF employment.

      Lets see if CT publishs this particular comment, as the “narrative” followed today is that Lasantha was this amazing journalist doing a service for the people. Which we all know is not the truth.

      • 0

        Well said!

  • 4

    Asanga is a smart cookie. He survives on borrowed money and all his projects are shady.

    He is trying his best to curry favor with Ranil now and struggling to get close to UNP.

    Sunday Leader has no credibility now and almost bankrupt.

    Nation Lanka Finance is showing profits from the moon!!! Former SEC chief turned a blind eye on him.

    Will do anything to satisfy the Rajapakses and the sons. Travelled with the rugby team when ever the sons played.

    He played out a Malaysian investor big time a few years ago.

  • 2

    This is what puppeteers do to their puppets!

  • 1


    Actually,revenge is a kind of wild Justice.We need this to checkmate these scoundrels who are still scotfree!

  • 2

    Asanga according to this letter of Resignation runs Leader .

    How come he is The head of Rugby and VP cricket .

  • 1

    Asanga S, together with the 4 Pereras and guys like T Nadesan, D Jayaweera, Gamini Senerath, Sajin Vaas should have been in Welikada by now if the Yahapalana have delivered what they promised.

    Not sure who is playing double games here, it seems like RW is protecting his friends and nothing seems to come as concrete action from this new govt too.

    very very frustrating.

  • 0

    Matilda – You hit the nail on the head. Yes, yes. It is Ranil
    Wickrmesinghe who is protecting all the corrupt and the inept.

    Here is the latest one. He named his close buddy Ajith Dias
    as Chairman Sri Lanka. Dias is Chairman of the Barista Coffee
    outlets in Sri Lanka. A Director of the company is cricketer
    Aravinda de Silva.

    Aravinda is married to one sister. The other sister is married
    to Kapila Chandrasena, the Chief Executive Officer of Sri Lankan
    Airlines. All the corruption and malpractices probe, now under
    way by lawyer J.C. Weliamuna, centers on Chandrasena.

    Once he gave a foreign party the right to set up a duty free shop
    at the airport. Mahinda Rajapaksa got to know about this and pulled
    him up. When Rajapaksa returned from a foreign trip and was seated
    inside the VIP lounge, Chandrasena fell prostrate before his feet
    and asked for forgiveness.

    Now Ajit Dias is trying to prevent Weliamuna from opening the can
    of worms on Chandrasena. That is Yahapalanaya for Ranil Wickremesinghe.

    Who will believe his government now?

  • 0

    Asanga is a shady character who will sell his soul to make a buck. His faithful disciple (CEO of the Leader) is an ex airforce officer who will do any dirty work on Asanga’s behalf. When is the yahapalanaya government going bring these people into justice? He is one of the shadiest characters in the business circle in Sri Lanka. Yet they continue to operate with the protection of the government. This is why I have decided to support JVP in the next election, We need new blood.

  • 0

    Shaku, I felt sorry for you when you joined the Sunday Leader as its editor leaving the Daily Mirror editorial. You ought to know that that great man Mr. Ranjit Wijewardene never interfered with the working of the editorial. In fact, he gave a free hand to all editors of the Group when the editorials were under his direct supervision. I think you are quite welcome back to the Daily Mirror, because I know how magnanimous Mr. Wijewardene is!

  • 0

    There is no credibility in the Sunday Leader now. “Letters to the Editor” are the most important columns readers look forward to, but
    hardly do readers find for their Rs 60/= spent every week. A SL journalist makes request to send letters to her personal email address,
    but when pointed out subsequently, she denies having made such request!

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