21 September, 2020

Blog

Lasantha Lives….Happy Birthday!

By Lal Wickrematunge

Lal Wickrematunge

Lal Wickrematunge

The 5th of April marks the 57th birth anniversary of Lasantha, murdered six years ago on the 8th of January. Mahinda Rajapaksa was defeated at the last Presidential elections also on the 8th of January. 8/1 will be etched in the history of this Island for two divergent emotions. Sadness, for the loss of a life snatched away in a meaningless excercise and Joy for snatching away power from a Leader hell bent on taking Sri Lanka down a path where it would have taken generations to restore law and order within a decent and pluralist society.

Lasantha became the last bastion for most who had no other means to seek redress from a marauding government. He was prepared to “Publish and be damned” and he was. He flew too close to the sun (Icarus) yet knew no other way to practice his vocation despite the many physical and verbal assaults he encountered. Assaulted, vilified, hauled to court, offices set on fire etc, did not deter him from his quest for justice, fairplay and good governance through his writing.

His killers and those who ordered such roam free. Some of them. Some have been sent to the nether world. The very simplistic act of handing over the resultant investigation to the Terrorist Investigations Division (TID) was an indication that it was meant to be hushed up. There was absolutely no progress made by this unit and I say that it was intentional.

Lasantha_to_Uvindu_J[1]Most within the top echelons of the previous government are in the know as to who carried out this dastardly act. Even Joe Blog plodding the street can guess who wished Lasantha dead. Some justified his killing through media interviews. Some called him a Tabloid Editor in a tone which suggested that he did not deserve to be alive. Hate speech against Lasantha continues to this date. A politician who is now being investigated for graft and a director of a business house under the spotlight at present gloated with glee, ” Lasantha was killed on the streets like a dog….damn good.” Yes. There are such Sri Lankans.

No less a person than the previous President of this country told me thrice that Lasantha was killed by Gen. Sarath Fonseka. Remember that the previous President was the Commander in Chief of all the Security Forces, Minister of Defence, and had power to appoint all the Judges. I did question him as to why he did not share this information in the Magistrates Court of Mt Lavinia where Lasantha’s murder case was being heard. He mumbled something about the military being demoralised. Gen. Fonseka was remanded immediately after his loss at the Presidential elections which was months after Lasantha was murdered under President Rajapaksa’s watch, for speaking to politicians whilst in service and helping to purchase binoculars offered by his son in law violating tender procedure. Much later he was sentenced over the “White Flag Case”.

If the President of this Country knew that Gen. Fonseka murdered Lasantha why did he not charge him for such offence? Would he not have had greater political mileage for it than the afore mentioned superfluous charges?

I did speak of the President’s charge at the grave site of Lasantha during his fourth death anniversary which was covered and carried by the BBC and Al Jazeera. I was rewarded by being summoned to the Criminal Investigation Department. The charge was that I was attempting to bring an elected government into disrepute by making statements to the international media. Perhaps they did not know that Lasantha was an international figure and recipient of many coveted awards from across the world. But I digress. When the BBC questioned Gen. Fonseka he denied and found fault with me. The charge was made by the former President. I repeated it. Gen. Fonseka in turn accused Mahinda and Gotabaya. Previously Gen. Fonseka said that drug barons acting like politicians were behind the killing of Lasantha.

I lost a brother and had every right to question the former President. He almost lost a brother when the LTTE targeted Gotabaya, though without success and should remember at least a tad of the anxiety he felt at coming close to losing a brother. I lost one.

The family of Lasantha, on this symbolic day would wish for nothing but an investigation leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for his murder. We need closure. To build a just and law abiding society in this island, this and the solving of other such murders would be a prerequisite. Anything short of such would be a black mark against our country for all time.

Accountability is the bedrock on which reconciliation can be built upon. History will tell its tale and a precedent set for future actions similar in nature unless all killings are investigated and successfully prosecuted.

Many of the investigative articles written by Lasantha during his time, for which he was damned, have been revived. Assaulted, called a traitor, hauled before court, arson attacks on his office and finally killed, Lasantha’s writings have stood the test of time. Many have said that he was far ahead of his time for this country. So what has changed? Only a government .

Happy Birthday Lasantha.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 16
    14

    Sunday leader did its utmost to discredit the armed forces who wre engaged in a war against terrorism. Sunday leader has now belatedly offred an unconditional apology for propagating deliberate wilful , malicious stories about MIGS. Peoplev still want to know why the Sunday Leader and its editor engaged in such treachery. People also want to know who funded and abetted this news paper. Many innocent civilian and security personnel lives could have been saved if Sunday Leader and its editors showed an iota of what we call patriotism when the very existence of this country was in peril.

    • 12
      13

      are you living in this world?
      Sunday Leader was FORCED to sell to a Rajapaksa deal maker and money laundere called Asanga Senevi., the former Rugby coach of the Rajapaksa kids at STC in Mount Lavinia.

      • 13
        7

        I dont think you could understand my comments.you are not able to join two words in a sentence. Obviouly, you mus be a paid agent from a foreign agency

        • 5
          10

          gigurawa

          “I dont think you could understand my comments.”

          Have you ever understood your own typing?

          “Obviouly, you mus be a paid agent from a foreign agency”

          Are you also looking for a paid job at various foreign agencies? Is your partner looking for a job in medieval middle east kingdoms?

    • 8
      12

      gigurawa

      1. “Sunday leader has now belatedly offred an unconditional apology for propagating deliberate wilful , malicious stories about MIGS”

      It was done by the new owners who were shills of Malinda Rajapaksa and Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

      2. “Peoplev still want to know why the Sunday Leader and its editor engaged in such treachery”

      It should be:

      People still want to know why the Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his cronies engaged in such robbery and fraud.

      It was a question of lining the pockets of the Rajapaksas and its cronies..

      Gota Goes Berserk

      http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2012/07/08/gota-goes-berserk/

    • 5
      13

      gigurawa

      Gotabaya Rajapaksa orders: To Protect his Frauds

      Lasantha Wickrematunge succumbs to gunshot injuries

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hM_8QrHWDZg

    • 5
      13

      The infamous Gotabaya Rajapaksa ridicules and laughs at Lasantha Wickrematunge being killed off

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoqPyuE0gpk

      Published on Sep 4, 2013

    • 5
      12

      Gotabaya Rajapaksa

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMQxV07w5r8

      Published on Jan 22, 2015

    • 1
      0

      It has now been revealed that several gangs have been active under the patronage of GR (Godfather). Navy Sampath, STF’s Kodithuwakku, Air Force’s Nishantha Gajanayake and Army’s Chanaka Perera. Navy Sampath has been arrested in connection with the murder of Raviraj. Mervin has spilled the beans.

  • 3
    8

    Who killed Cock Robin; I said the sparrow; With my bow and arrow.

  • 6
    12

    Dear Lal Wickrematunge,

    It is hard to lose a sibling for non-natural causes, or for any cause for that matter. We all sympathize with you dear brother Lasantha, who gave so much for the country. Unfortunately, it is your and his family’s greatest lost.

    Lasantha Lives….Happy Birthday!

    May Lasantha rest in peace. You live in our thoughts and hearts.

    “If the President of this Country knew that Gen. Fonseka murdered Lasantha why did he not charge him for such offence? Would he not have had greater political mileage for it than the afore mentioned superfluous charges?”

    The Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa ia a Liar. That explains everything.

    • 7
      9

      Will you shut up?

      • 1
        9

        Fed Up

        “Will you shut up?” Tell that to Medamulana Mahinda Rajapaksa.

        “IN JOURNALISM TRUTH IS A PROCESS” Says Colombo Telegraph. How True. The Truth is coming out on Lasantha’s Killers.

        Tell that to the Caligula of Sri Lanka, Caligula Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Cronies, who were kicked out by the People who had Common sense in Sri Lanka.

        Caligula Mahinda Rajapaksa

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caligula

        Caligula (/kəˈlɪɡjələ/)[1] was the popular nickname of Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (31 August AD 12 – 24 January AD 41), Roman emperor (AD 37–41). Caligula was a member of the house of rulers conventionally known as the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Caligula’s father Germanicus, the nephew and adopted son of Emperor Tiberius, was a very successful general and one of Rome’s most beloved public figures. The young Gaius earned the nickname “Caligula” (meaning “little soldier’s boot”, the diminutive form of caliga, hob-nailed military boot) from his father’s soldiers while accompanying him during his campaigns in Germania.

        When Germanicus died at Antioch in AD 19, his wife Agrippina the Elder returned to Rome with her six children where she became entangled in a bitter feud with Tiberius. The conflict eventually led to the destruction of her family, with Caligula as the sole male survivor. Untouched by the deadly intrigues, Caligula accepted the invitation to join the Emperor on the island of Capri in AD 31, to where Tiberius, himself, had withdrawn five years earlier. With the death of Tiberius in AD 37, Caligula succeeded his grand uncle and adoptive grandfather as emperor.

        There are few surviving sources about the reign of Emperor Caligula, although he is described as a noble and moderate ruler during the first six months of his reign. After this, the sources focus upon his cruelty, sadism, extravagance, and sexual perversity, presenting him as an insane tyrant. While the reliability of these sources is questionable, it is known that during his brief reign, Caligula worked to increase the unconstrained personal power of the emperor, as opposed to countervailing powers within the principate. He directed much of his attention to ambitious construction projects and luxurious dwellings for himself; he initiated the construction of two aqueducts in Rome: the Aqua Claudia and the Anio Novus. During his reign, the empire annexed the Kingdom of Mauretania as a province.

        In early AD 41, Caligula was assassinated as a result of a conspiracy by officers of the Praetorian Guard, senators, and courtiers. The conspirators’ attempt to use the opportunity to restore the Roman Republic was thwarted: on the day of the assassination of Caligula, the Praetorian Guard declared Caligula’s uncle, Claudius, the next Roman emperor.

  • 9
    11

    I hope and pray that the whole truth comes out. Not only the few rankers who perpetrated this vicious crime, but the person / persons who wanted this to be done and gave the order. May they be destroyed who plan and plot to kill innocent people.

  • 4
    13

    What happened to The Sunday Leader since the demise of Lasantha is a clear comparison to what had happened to the rule of law in SL. It is fittingly on the day of his killing, his murderers had hit the dust loosing a election which was not losable, due to the work of bitch, karma.

    When he wrote his killers before he was killed, Lasnatha knew full well that not only was he going to be killed but why whom. He was spot on, as the murderer who was attending a media after a meeting of the sorts seemed to have interrupted it to receive an urgent call and, seemed to have spontaneously queried “was he shot at his head”, not realizing where he was at. The reporters didn’t realize who was shot at head but later realized it was Lasantha. Such was the ease with which the killings were carried out. MR’s government didn’t want an informed populace nor was a populace that has the capability to discover the truth going over and above the periotic spin. Hope his efforts didn’t go in vein, am sure his writings have played a significant and meaningful role in bringing down MR’s corrupted regime, that was the power of the pen, doesn’t necessarily require his presence. Share your pains, and didn’t we all miss him, he will relatively RIP than a 100 days ago. If someone claimed that the rule of law has been restored in future, a validation would be ensuring the assailants brought to the book, hope it will happen soon, it will better for all Sri Lankans.

    • 7
      5

      Amarasiri, Safa Aia.
      The leader/ Sunday leader carried on a vicious, malicious campaign to discredit the armed forces and the then government during the years preceding the war against terrorism. In short, these two papers supprted the tamil terrorists. The public always thought that this news paper was funded and abetter by the Americans or the western catholic church. The tone of your vitupertion betrays your hatred against Sinhalese.
      Who are your pay masters. You do not come out 10 times a day every day unless you are paid for this.
      Amarasiri, Safa,Aia, you three cannot write in clear english. and you three cannot three words in grammatical English. Surely you must be getting paid by some antinational organisation

  • 5
    10

    Rest in Peace Lasantha .

  • 5
    9

    Wish you a ‘happy Birthday’ Mr. Wickrematunge, you were both fearless and ruthless when reporting the good and the bad. Unfortunately, that was the reason for your untimely death in the most cruel manner. Rest In Peace, Sir. Justice will prevail, those who took your life away in such ruthless circumstances will one day face dire consequences.

  • 22
    4

    They all – I mean THE FAMILY knows very well who was behind in the killings.
    How the 8 army guys in black came in the motor cycles and killed him. The 8 were arrested and released due to the intervention of some guy from Singapore. (No, this is not Arjuna Mahendran, lol).

    Both the wives in my opinion haven’t done much since they are afraid and want to, carry on their lives. The children have suffered the most. Whatever little money Lasantha had was stolen soon after he was murdered. May be, only a few knew about it, and even Lal did not know.

    The Assistant editors have done very well for themselves and their children becoming US citizens after Australia rejected them, despite being burgers. How many non English speaking, uneducated Sri Lankans were admitted to Australia and why not these people? May be their intelligence was much better than the Americans who also gave political asylum for people like Ali Zahir Moulana who transported 20 or 30 Karuna terrorist to Colombo for money and Gold while he was a MP in Parliament.

    Moulana lost his visa in the USA and was sent back when it was petitioned that the senior diplomutt had committed serious violations of the US law. Editor – Please link the articles on Mowlana as to his US Visas which was published by CT or just repeat it.

    Some journalist have been selfish and dishonest like the diplomats or bankers.

    Anyway, Lasantha’s kids are suffering and not receiving any funds that was paid by another front man, Asanga Seneiveratne, MP Namal Rajapakse’s rugger coach when the Sunday Leader was sold. The new machinery was sold. Buildings were sold. Correct me if I am wrong! That would be a challenge?

    The assets are not in Ratmalana anymore.. If so where is it?

    We are all very disappointed with the PM Ranil who was a good friend of Lasantha. It is 90 days now and this joke of Good Governance there are no serious investigations on Lasantha which every voter who voted for President Sirisena wanted and still demanding.

    That is an absolute disgrace. Lal, just forget about the awards and publicity the widows/editors, and Sunday Leader keep collecting since Lasantha died. Please vigorously go after the murderers and those who planned the murder/conspiracy. Release in full your version of the Fonseka interview honestly and don’t be afraid.

    Release the names of the 8 soldiers who were arrested and released. The new MOD and Ranil the PM, his cousin the Deputy MOD now need to release their names and in which country they are living now in case they are not hiding here. After all, they are all carrying SL passports.

    How did Jesuthasan die in the Police Cell? Heart attack as they say or torture? Exhume his body and I can assure there will be international support and finance for such actions initiated by you as the brother and sole beneficiary of the Sunday Leader.

    As for personal matters of all this “Affair” let us leave it buried for the time being. This is not the proper forum. Let us focus on the murder investigations and the MIGS.

    Donald Gnanakone
    Tamils For Justice
    Founder

    • 1
      0

      Captian, Paradoxical cleared.
      right on target- Oh when the saints go marching in!!

    • 2
      3

      Donald GNnanakone.
      Indeed you owe a debt of gratitude to the then editors of Sunday leader for the surreptitious campaign against the armed forces and in support of LTTE. No doubt it is payback time , but do not masquerade as seekers of justice.

      • 7
        2

        Baygullah gigurawa,
        Sign your real name you coward.

        I do not owe any damn gratitude to any of the assistant editors or editors of Sunday Leader. They only ………. around. I will hold my tongue on this public forum.

        I do not owe any gratitude to Lasantha either. It was the other way around. But I considered Lasantha a friend and we have had a very long relationship for over 15 years most of which I was outside SL. Especially after my wife was arrested by Chandrika (a cousin of Brian S), and my US born children were harassed, intimidated and nearly arrested in July 2000. – 15 years ago.

        My brother Charles was arrested by Chandrika and Rajapakse as PM and was only released after the election victory and Emilkanthan money deal. Charles too died in his sleep 3 years ago, and the GOSL is responsible.

        As for Lal, the least I say the better.

        Sunday Leader spoke a little of the human rights violations and the State Terrorism of the Sinhala Buddhist Racist Chauvinist GOSL of Chandrika and Rajapakse who were themselves installed by the LTTE in November 2005 after taking money from Emilkanthan. Mangala Samaraweera who was Rajapakse’s campaign manager. Tiran Alles and US citizen Basil Rajapakse were involved.

        It was Lasantha and Sunday Leader as well DBS Jeyarajah who exposed the secret deal.

        BTW, Mangala is now Ranil’s Foreign Minister and he is right now secretly negotiating with some Tamils in the Diaspora who have arrived in Singapore from the UK and EU. Good Luck to Mangala and GOSL and let us see how far they go. It was GTF who boycotted the last Presidential elections to ensure Rajapakse will win the elections and they miserably failed. The Tamil Voters did not listen to them, Thankfully.

        May Lasantha attain Nibana. RIP Lasantha.

        Donald Gnanakone
        Tamils For Justice
        Founder.

    • 0
      1

      Both Lasantha’s wives [Edited out]
      Sri Lanka will always be grateful and grieve for Lasantha

  • 5
    9

    Lasantha my Hero!May God be with you…

  • 3
    1

    “”investigations and the MIGS.”

    MIGS are Indian seconds from Thambaram/Pallavaram Chennai Air Base Hindustan Defense.India as its the 50/50 only collaborator for 5th generation MIGS.
    Gotabaya studied at Madras defense MSc.

  • 0
    4

    Donald.

    You are right;There does not appear to be any headway in roping Lasanthas killers!

  • 1
    10

    Despite Gigurawa’s gobbledegook, there’s much credence to the theory that Fonseka was involved in the assassination of Lasantha. To its impartial credit Sunday Leader supported Fonseka’s Presidential candidacy until Frederica Jansz brought in some home truths about Fonseka misdemeanours. However on the assassination at Attidiya on that fatal day in 2009, I was there and spoke to witnesses who mentioned the motorcyclists who shot Lasantha were wearing fatigues and were seen returning to the nearby Army Barracks headed by Fonseka. The police were conspicuously disregarding these witnesses and made no attempt to collect any evidence. I was not surprised.

  • 4
    0

    Regardless of bollocks by Haik, hic hic,

    The entire journalists who were the ultimate killers of Princess Di saw it all.

    Yet the outcome a lunatic Aliya who finally sold Harrods to football mad ME.

  • 1
    2

    Lal W
    This unfortunate death pobably could have been avoided, I personally believe, if your family did not hide a crucial truth about Lasantha which came to light only at his funeral. Even to this day it is considered impolite to discus this matter in public. If known publicly the assailants would not have targeted him as a “traitor”. He changed his religion and in my opinion this is the source of his much appraised “courage”. Once you renounce your birth religion your main target of hatred becomes the the followers of the preious religion. While this is one’s fundenmatal democratic right anyone who does this I hold in very low opinion.
    As you are aware he tried to convert others arounnd him as well to his new religion (one example reputed journalist DBS Jeyaraj)

    Another thing Lal W from what you been spewing publicly it appears that you have a lot of information about assailants in store. Fornunately a new opportunity has arisen to present this evidence for a genuine inquiry. Let us hope for the best.

    Will you kindly take this opprtunity to enlighten the CT readers and the public in general about this aspect of Lasantha’s life.

  • 1
    1

    ja

    Lasantha, did change his belief voluntarily. That was his right. Thousands have done so. What one inherits at birth is a given right without choice, which may be changed with education or learning .SWRD Bandaranaike, JRJ,and others did it for other reasons.Mr. ja, Buddhism is not a religion.Some are born rich and others poor. This does not mean that they have to stay that way forever. All of us are born in Sri Lanka. We do not betray the Country if we do go away to live elsewhere.
    Even Buddhism abhors killing Mr ja. Lasantha’s murder had nothing to do with what you hint at. That would be the biggest betrayal for Buddhists in this country.
    Lasantha’s courage was seen publicly in 1994 when the Leader was started. He changed his beliefs in 2006. So there.
    And Mr ja I was not spewing. I was talking of a murder. Your latent anger shows in the language used. As for the investigation….the Police would know better. Ask them please. Since you asked for a comment this was penned and not spewed.

    • 1
      0

      Dear Lal W

      Most certainly it was his fundamental democratic right.

      Now I sympathize with Lasantha more than ever. He is not the lion his admirers portray him to be. This religion affair exposes him to be an exceptionally weak mind. His heroism is that of an ISIS fighter ( who are promised 70 virgins in heaven – I do not know what this new religion (or the converters) promised Lasantha). As afar as I am concerned all religion is humbug, rubbish – pure and simple. I admire one who has the courage of conviction to come out of this bond and stand on his own feet. Jumping from one cesspool to another cesspool is the most comical spectacle for me.

      Once again I wish Lasantha may attain the ultimate bliss his new religion promised him.

      Thanks for the response. I hope any biographical note on Lasantha may not fail to mention this aspect of his life for what one believes is a fundamentally important element to understand one’s character.

  • 0
    1

    Lal, yes he lives on forever. No more Rajapaksas and no more assassinations. I only wish your brother was still alive, we could have found out more about these Rajapaksa criminals.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.