30 September, 2020

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Lasantha Lives…In Our Hearts

By Lal Wickrematunge

Lal Wickrematunge

Lal Wickrematunge

Many people are remembered long after they have passed away. Some for the enduring legacy they leave behind and others for the infamous reputations. Lasantha, even after eight long years is remembered for championing the rights of the voiceless and for showing up those in authority who stooped to pilfer from the people, warts and all.

He could very well have practised Law and made a comfortable life for himself and family. He spoke of a calling. Far higher in virtue than pecuniary benefit. Many doubted his motives as they do in our motherland. He laughed in the face of such accusation. To answer them he said, was to become one of them.

Despite the revelations made in recent times through two taped telephone conversations between the former President and Lasantha, he comes off lily white. He cautions the former President of corruption within his government and the need to eradicate it. He also says that the two major political parties must get together to haul the country out of the morass it has sunk into. I cannot imagine that the source of these taped conversations was Lasantha or a proxy. There was nothing that he could have gained from them. He was murdered eight years ago. What would he gain eight years after his death ?Lasantha 2015

Those who carried out his murder must know, even after eight years, that it is the family that is left behind who would grieve. They must know how it is for a parent to bury a child. For siblings to bury the youngest. This is how inhumane some become when power engulfs. True, Lasantha practised his journalism in his own style and not all loved him. Some hated him. I know that. He was assaulted, shot at and even threatened with death prior to being murdered. An aggrieved party could have sought legal redress. Indeed he was taken to court and if he was punished he would have been fined a colossal sum…at best. Perhaps, the newspaper would have had to shut down if the fine was beyond the capacity of the Company. But he would live. That is the law.

BUT FOR LASANTHA’S PRE MEDITATED MURDER, SOMEONE CAN BE SENTENCED TO DEATH !! That too is the law. Consider the two. One is a civil misdemeanour and the other? Murder most foul.

It is certain that the operating mob who killed him did not know him. It is safe to conclude that the orders were given by a coward who hated him for his writing. So there.

He won many an International award for his work. Not pseudo Doctorates from dubious institutions. Eight years on his voice is still being heard for good reason, The fearlessness and the tenacity shown to doggedly continue in the face of adversity has been recognised universally. We hear it ever so often.

Our father passed away four years after his murder. He was heart broken. Our mother yet speaks as if he lives. The rest of the family grieves. His friends grieve. Yet, we are proud of him. He is bigger in death than when he was alive. Someone saw to it.

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Latest comments

  • 10
    2

    This government will definitely not find the real killer for obvious reasons. At the time of the murder people knew who killed him.

    • 1
      0

      In politics there are no permanent friends or foes. Therefore friendly and partners of crime at the time of the murder, are friends today of the coalition that is supposed to stand for good governance. One can say how diabolical but that is what politics, especially in the third world is all about.

      • 3
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        Yes, it is the same group in the opposition and government and theyall know who ordered and who murdered. In todays’ Sunday leader, I saw an interview with Gotapaya Rajapakse and he said that this government is caught/investigating the wrong people. Former President also earlier said that he knew who murdered. So, somebody know the truth. We all know Lasantha’s case was investigated by the former government as well. In Srilankan politics, most scarce resource is Truth. In fact, this island will be better off even if we don’t have democracy or law and order or justice system. People were better off before 1948.

    • 2
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      No doubt he lives in our hearts, but not getting served with justice as expected, the victimized family has not done anything seen actively over the last 24 months. It has been the tradition of the country if not the victimized would not fight for their rights, not even anything near to JUSTICE be able to achieve.
      Why not Brother Lal et al come to the street – I have no doubt, diverse civil groups and all will follow.
      In Baratha Murder case, the daughter of the family fought like a Heroine, no matter what her political immaturity or any other expereicne in the life would sound, she never let it go. Even today, unfortunatley, Prisoner, Duminda Silva is according to prima facie evidence enjoying his PRISON stay with Face book and other accesses being given to him. In the same time, the food being served to him has always been not what Sarath Fonseka was being served. Anyways, with all public secrets, nothing seem to move towards serving justice.
      We talk also about we can still rely on lankan courts and law and order…
      I beleive, we have come to a point, this country s courts and law and order are made corrupted by previous regime ( not govt) so it has been no easy task anyone to rely on them even if new men are appointed ONLY to just head position. This country is sinking so long no HIGH PROFILE crime – which are murders are treated with IMPUNITY without having hearts for justice but justice.

    • 4
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      Lasantha knew the risks that he took as one of his editorials not long before his killing revealed.
      The greatest tribute to such a journalist is for those who respect him to emulate his courage even to a small degree.

      FF
      Perhaps I am thick, so could you kindly expand on “obvious reasons” and “people knew who killed him”.

    • 0
      0

      F.F.

      “At the time of the murder people knew who killed him.”

      Do they still know?

      Are you one of the ‘people’?

      Lot of CT commentators know lot of of things but wouldn’t help authorities by disclosing their source.

      Soma

  • 2
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    We celebrated 8th anniversary of Lasantha murder. We also celebrated the 118th Bith anniversary of SWRD Bandaranaiyake today. We will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Bandaranayake – Chelvanayagam Pact in July this year. Anniversaries are important to remind us what happened in the past. We are still going around the same Pact again and again every decade with pogoroms, peace talks, proposals, protests and we couldn’t move away even an inch as we couldn’t move an inch in the Lasantha murder. The funny is that we have two major Sinhalese political parties do the same thing in alternative turn but the same act. Usually history repeats after many centuries but in Srilanka, particularly after 1948, the history repeats every decade or even shorter.
    Lasantha’s case will never end as long as long as solution to the ethnic conflict remains resolved.

  • 3
    0

    Lal Wickrematunge

    RE: Lasantha Lives…In Our Hearts

    Yes. May Lasantha Rest in Peace. It is really hard to lose loved ones, especially siblings, parents and children.

    “Despite the revelations made in recent times through two taped telephone conversations between the former President and Lasantha, he comes off lily white. He cautions the former President of corruption within his government and the need to eradicate it. He also says that the two major political parties must get together to haul the country out of the morass it has sunk into. I cannot imagine that the source of these taped conversations was Lasantha or a proxy. There was nothing that he could have gained from them. He was murdered eight years ago. What would he gain eight years after his death ?”

    Who was to gain by his murder? Mahinda Rajapaksa and or Gotabaya Rajapaksa?

    Who is currently protecting the killers? Everybody knows.

    • 2
      0

      Amarasiri

      “Who is currently protecting the killers? Everybody knows” – Does Ranil know?

  • 1
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    Quote; “Yes, it is the same group in the opposition and government and they all know who ordered and who murdered. “

    Yet, the Yahapalanaya continue to thrive on selling Lasantha’s carcass instead of putting an end to the death.
    We have waited for 02 years for the yahapalanay to deliver BUT they are more interested in making money & not who killed lasantha.

  • 1
    0

    The uneducated helping hambantota filth must face trial for colossal crimes?

  • 1
    0

    Lasantha is a national treasure! He tred where others would never have dared. He took on the biggest powers of corruption and evil power. They live on and yet will die a slow and terrible death. Their evil will be displayed in public as the law will surely take its course. Yet lasantha, lives on and died a hero. We are for ever grateful though we have never met. May his tribe increase !!!

  • 0
    0

    CWE ? CWE?

  • 0
    0

    We need to know the truth, nothing but the truth.

    Family members should be totally unbiased, dispassionate in their suspicions.

    They should be extremely cautious not to be mislead by those want to take this opportunity to settle their own political scores.

    Why not question Ranil Wickramasinghe too who once even named the suspect in the Parliament as I remember.

    Soma

    • 1
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      somaassss

      “Why not question Ranil Wickramasinghe too who once even named the suspect in the Parliament as I remember.”

      If Ranil is reluctant to bring the saga to close will you organise a sit in at the parliament.

      We will be right behind you provided you don’t send in officer and the thug, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne.

      And we don’t want war without witness.

  • 0
    0

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  • 0
    0

    “Speak the truth, do not yield to anger; give, if thou art asked for little; by these three steps thou wilt go near the gods.”

    I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.
    Mahatma Gandhi

    When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it–always.
    Mahatma Gandhi

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