28 October, 2021

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Lasantha Wickrematunge Murder “Trial” To Be Conducted By People’s Tribunal In The Hague

The People’s Tribunal on Murdered Journalists in The Hague will indict the Government of Sri Lanka for its role in the assassination of slain Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge and its prolonged failure to bring his murderers to justice, adding to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa‘s mounting international problems.

The Tribunal, established in The Hague, Netherlands, where the International Criminal Court is also based, will be part of the Permanent People’s Tribunal in Rome. The Project, entitled A Safer World for the Truth, is a collaboration between Free Press Unlimited, a press freedom organisation based in The Neterhlands, the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Sans Frontiers. The website announcing the establishment of the tribunal which will commence sittings on November 2, 2021, said the three press freedom watchdogs were joining forces to “to investigate. To document. To pursue justice. And create a safer world for the truth.”

When journalists are killed, in eight out of 10 cases, the killers go free, the organisations said.[See full press release here]

Lasantha Wickrematunge was killed on January 8, 2009 when Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the current president of Sri Lanka held office as Secretary to the Ministry of Defence. Evidence gathered after the fall of the Rajapaksa Government in 2015, revealed an elaborate plot to cover up Wickrematunge’s murder and how the renowned editor was likely assassinated by a military intelligence death squad commanded by the Defence Secretary.

“The People’s Tribunal on the Murder of Journalists, will indict the governments of Sri Lanka, Mexico and Syria for failing to deliver justice for the murders of Lasantha Wickrematunge, Miguel Ángel López Velasco, and Nabil Al-Sharbaji,” a press release about the Tribunal said. The tribunal will hear witness testimony and expert legal analysis and evidence regarding the three murders. The hearing into Wickrematunge’s murder is scheduled to be held in January 2022, in The Hague. The prosecution will be led by renowned international human rights lawyer Almudena Bernabeu, who will be supported by former Judge of the International Criminal Court, Sir Howard Morrison QC.

Tweeting about the Tribunal, Wickrematunge’s daughter Ahimsa said she was proud to support the effort to bring evidence about her father’s murder before the world. “No immunity here (in The Hague), so finally, my family gets something resembling a day in court,” the journalist’s daughter said. Wickrematunge’s family has been seeking justice for his murder for 12 long years.

The Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) in San Francisco which represented Ahimsa Wickrematunge in her efforts to sue Gotabaya Rajapaksa for the murder of her father, also tweeted that it was proud to support CPJ, Free Press Unlimited and RSF in their efforts to highlight impunity for attacks on journalists.

 

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Latest comments

  • 35
    1

    Good move.

    It should confirm what people already know. Rajapaksas silenced him.

    • 15
      1

      But the sad reality of elections in Sorry Lanka is even if it finds Rajapaksas and their henchmen guilty of murder correctly, a section of voters will hail it as a victory and vote for them with their tails again!

      At least 10% of Buddhists are Buddhist extremists, chauvinists or terrorists (e.g. Aluthgama 2014 was an act of Buddhist terrorism against Muslims). That is 7% of the total vote which is higher than all other parties except the two main parties.

      Remember a Rajapaksa thug destroyed an ancient historical site in Kurunegala last year? Rajapaksa himself justified it by saying it belonged to a king who had a Muslim queen! (So it it ok to destroy it according to Buddhist extremists who jeered it with excitement!)

      This is the mentality of Buddhist extremists. They love murder, violence and destruction. One of them once said on stage (with a rusty sword on hand) that it gives them an orgasmic feeling!!

      • 2
        1

        Gatam
        It is the freedom given by Democracy, being exercised by villains!
        Remember, ones Chandrika said, “Freedom is necessary and very good aspect in a democracy but Not the Freedom of the Jack ass!”
        You know what I mean!
        That is very relevant in this instance.

  • 39
    2

    Excellent development. I really hope something comes of this.
    Far too many khaki-clad thugs and political scoundrels are getting away with plain murder

    Kumar David

  • 37
    2

    This is wonderful news. Finally, the hard work of Ahimsa Wickrematunge is paying off. She has been consistent and resolute for so many years, in seeking answers, and for long overdue justice.. Her father would have been proud of his daughter.

    It is unfortunate that in this country, murderers and war criminals are getting away with brutal killings, and that the families of the victims have to work so hard to get answers, due justice, and that they have to depend on INTERNATIONAL organizations to get those answers, and hopefully some closure. It has been a long time coming.

  • 32
    3

    At last. After years since Lasntha and many other journalists were killed under the watch of Rajapaksas, justice for family members and victims. It’s obvious thrre will be none in lawless Lanka.

    • 31
      3

      Not just Lasantha, every journalist who was killed, murdered, tortured,abused ( forty or so) by Rajapaksas should be investigated and people behind these crimes should be found guilty. There is now hope Easter Mayhem too may be investigated elsewhere.

  • 30
    1

    Justice for Lasantha maybe too little too late but even the publicity of an international trial would confirm SL as another human rights violating dictatorship ,which would jeopardise any direct foreign investment & aid. If I remember correctly, a Tamil mechanic died mysteriously whilst in custody, accused of Lasantha’s murder. Would there ever be justice for innocent poor people with no voice who have been murdered by the military & the police on the orders of the high & mighty in an attempt to cover up misdeeds?

  • 21
    1

    Fiat Justitia ruat caelum………………..

    ……Let justice be done though the Heavens fall…….

  • 38
    1

    Gota is paying for Lasantha’s murder …… in more ways than one.

    His con is exposed for everyone to see ….. A bungling babbling incompetent fool without an ounce of brains ………

    America got him by the balls ……. when his usefulness is expired will spit him out ……. he won’t be able to get most of his loot to America …….. check out Paul Manafort

    Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

  • 15
    3

    “The Tribunal in The Hague”

    It’s a piece of cake!

    Send EE with a bucket load of the Toronto sewers’ finest ……

    He’s an expert defender …….. been doing it for years …….. pro bono ………

    • 3
      13

      nimal fernando,
      “Send EE with a bucket load of the Toronto sewers’ finest ……”
      —-
      I will not take a bucket load of the Toronto sewers but take the Hansard that contains Ranil Wickramasinghe’s statement made in the Parliament pointing his finger at the person behind Lasantha’s murder.
      Gotabhaya Rajapakshe was not in the Parliament.

      • 6
        1

        EE,

        How much Gothapaya pays you to defend the loser?

  • 31
    4

    Not just Lasantha’s murder, but Rugby player Wasim Thajudeen s was no different to that misterious Jamal Khashogi, who was a saudi journalist murdered and dismembered in Saudi Embassy in Istanbul, Turkey in 2018.
    :
    We the sinhalayas talk high about our so called 2500 year old heritage, but our people are no different to real barbarians in Ruwanda or any other like minded places where genocides were reported. Not just minorities, they the sympathisers of current rulers would even kill any dissidents because they are born killers.

    • 18
      2

      That poor man was killed because he looked at someone’s property the wrong way. These killers are brutal, vicious, and vindictive. Now they are back, the whole corrupt lot, to continue their reign of terror.
      Sri Lankan voters have poor judgement.

    • 14
      1

      Dear LM: Thanks for reminding our readers of the case of “Thajudeen”. What about “Poddala Jayantha”? You may have heard: “Rajakam Kalath, Kala Kam Palade” (Even if you are King, you have to pay for your Karma – the sins committed.)

      I explained this, “Trail” at Hague to my friend, Burampi Singho Maama of “Kadamandiya”. His immediate response: “Okunta Vehi Nathi Hena Hathama Gahanna Ona”. I asked him: What must happen to you who voted these bastards to power. He replied: ” Nedda Apita Hena Gahala. Eda Velawath Kanna Nethiwa Inne”. Hena Gahala Merrenne Eka Paari. Dan Kanna Nathiwa Tika Tika Merenawa. Eka Koitharam Pawakda”. I didn’t talk further than that. Cheers from Galle -Unawatuna.

      • 12
        0

        Bro good riddance to people. We predicted it and warned them enoughi. Not even a single person among cattle thieves is dead by Covid but the innocent masses. I have the feeling they have twisted even ” divine forces” for their political survival. What more talks? 🤥🤥🤥🤥🤥😡😡😡

  • 33
    4

    When this Hambantota gamarala killer who is the president of this country is abroad, catch the rascal, rip up his diplomatic immunity staus and then charge and convict the bugger for the murder of Lasantha and many others. Then place him in solitary confinement without any visitors.

    • 2
      0

      TFTN,
      Time is not yet ripe for that attempt.
      Karma takes it’s time to attend to each and every one.
      Certainly it is assured to happen.

      There are other players than SL in this episode, hence all parties must concur that it is the best time!

      In other words you may say that the conjuring of the Stars should be awaited for successful accomplishment!

      It may also depend on what ‘Gnanakka’ is able to contribute through the “Crystal ball” to abate any and all bad effects by consultations in Anuradhapura!

      Going by the foreboding of the last astrologer Sumanadasa to bite ‘dust’, in 2015, it depends on whether Gnanakka could visualise beyond SL shores in this case.

  • 19
    2

    In my view the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth will come out regarding the gruesome murder of Lasantha Wickramatunge in Sri Lanka itself in the years to come and definitely not in the present. However critical he was of the system at that time or for any other reason unknown, does not give a license to those involved to murder Lasantha. I am with those who are near and dear to the late senior member of the fourth estate in sharing the sadness and dismay. However, this so called trial of a in a non-state entity will make the culprits of the crime to laugh their sides out. Take the case of Prince Andrew and he now is in hot water. I am sure there should be a mechanism to catch hold of these fellows even extra-territorially, just as much as Augusto Pinochet was a defendant in a court in Madrid for his actions in Argentina.

    • 0
      0

      Good Sense,
      Good morning.
      Important aspect is:
      1. Will this mechanism enlighten the individual, who asked the question during BBC interview, “Who is this Lasantha W?”
      2. What would all those who were involved do when the outcome and the consequential flow of events?
      Possibly,
      A. What would they be chanting, Ranaviruwo are saints and followers of Buddhism and without reproach! Sadhu, Sadhu!
      B. Claim it is western imperialist, reactionaries at work to discredit Sri Lanka and those who defeated terrorism in SL?!
      C. Traitorous acts by enemies of SL
      D. Agree, that something very bad and untoward happened in an era or dark age and move forward to a bright future, without terror and humane values upheld towards dissent at all times compassionately as per the Buddha’s teachings?
      E. May be continue to move forward with impunity!
      One never knows!

  • 14
    1

    long overdue

  • 26
    1

    If found guilty people who are now heroes will become big zeroes and go down in history as family of serial killers.

    • 19
      3

      “If found guilty people who are now heroes will become big zeroes and go down in history as family of serial killers.”
      I don’t think this will make any change in the minds of Buddhist Sinhala. It was a well known fact and every Buddhist Sinhala also knows who was behind this murder but they accepted them as hero’s because they believe their fake propaganda thatTamils, Muslims, Christians and Westerners are against to Buddhist Sinhala.

      • 10
        1

        Good point. Many knew who the culprits were, and how they committed this brutal murder, but they still voted for them anyway.
        Poor judgement or low standards?

      • 4
        19

        Ajith,
        “It was a well known fact and every Buddhist Sinhala also knows who was behind this murder but they accepted them as hero’s…”
        —-
        Guys responsible or tacitly approved massacre of thousands of Sinhala Buddhist civilians using suicide bombers, land mines, claymore bombs, chemical weapons and slit the belly of pregnant Sinhala women and killed the fetus in a gruesome way are shedding crocodile tears for Lasantha Wickramatunga.

        • 7
          2

          EE,
          Anyway, you agree who murdered Lasantha!.

        • 1
          1

          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

          • 2
            0

            NP,
            thanks for making it short.
            .
            Get well soon
            .
            LM

          • 4
            0

            N. Perera, brilliant. You silence speaks volumes. Thanks for your intellect.

        • 4
          0

          Eagle ‘dumbass’ Eye, your Banda hero gave the LTTE buggers who massacred 600 surrendered cops a ministerial job and the other the chief minister job for the east. Can you please please please explain that to us? What a numbnut.

        • 4
          0

          Eagle ‘mutt’Eye, long before the dreadful LTTE was born, your racist cousins were killing innocent Tamils. Do you remember what happened in 1957/58/77? Oh I remember, your memory is very short as your cranium is filled with the combination of the following gases;
          Nitrogen (N2), hydrogen (H), carbon dioxide (CO2), oxygen (O2) and methane (CH4), these produce something called fart.

        • 5
          0

          Idiot Eagle Eye, decent people of or from Sri Lanka see Lasantha as a gentleman who was brutally murdered by your master. Unfortunately you see everyone based on their ethnic composition. Dimwit fool.

      • 6
        0

        Ajith, Can you please spell out what is so marvelous about a buddhist that people start raving about them or even so envious that all these others want to destroy them. What is this great value you place on a buddhist as opposed to other humans. What I see they have done in this nation mostly is robbery, murder, lying to citizens, extreme poverty and joblessness, having down graded education and health sectors. Please tell us what non buddhists have missed.

  • 3
    6

    are they importing the kangaroos?

    • 2
      0

      No they are going to indict the monkeys.

      • 0
        0

        Ashan,
        No doubt “Monkeys Galore”, in La La land the wonder of Asia, so they do not need Kangaroos!

    • 5
      2

      a14455@
      What else can we expect from brainwashed ones like u ? Ur breed is bulls eye as best example for total stupidity. Trump s men may have abused u over the years.😡😡😡😡😡

  • 12
    3

    What will the disciples of the Gautama say about this.
    They are busy tying ‘pirith noolas’ nowadays on the wrists of the military.
    Even advising politicians. Will they give evidence at The Hague.

    • 6
      1

      Those barbarians will say Lasantha was a missionary agent and Rajapaksa heroes saved Sorry Lanka’s Buddies from him. And they will light crackers, eat kavum and rush into the jungle for a quick bowel movement.

    • 1
      0

      Justice,
      They are busy at the moment to read, understand, interpret, analyse the recent NFE agreement at the behest of SJB.
      Once they have completed that task and advise the powers that be as to the outcome and action by the government to follow in that regard, they will then “Strategically” – (FS Professor Admiral JC’s, terminology)turn their attention to this dastardly act, as it is not of “Strategically” important as the former.
      NFE agreement if allowed to proceed unchecked may cause untold hardship on Sinhala Buddhists, depriving them of celebrating Peraheras and Universally acclaimed and UN acknowledged ‘Vesak Day’, (which is too important and relevant to the country of SBs) to its fullest!!

    • 1
      0

      Justice,
      They have become speechless, muted and dumb. Message not getting it at all!
      They never imagined this situation will befall, our war winning combination.
      Paw Aney. Feel very very sorry for the duo.
      Best compensation is we must all vote for these “b_____s” to come to power next time and ever after that, to better enlighten the people and get them disgusted of this lot!!
      That may be a forlorn wish; never achievable, because of their cherubic permanent smile
      Otherwise they learn? How? NO learn at all!
      No learn!! Have to endure Pohottuwa governance till eternity and misery, although election day soothing effect of ¼ Bottle of Gal and Chicken Biriyani packet, unchanged!.

  • 8
    2

    Fair trials are the only way to prevent miscarriages of justice,but the scale and nature of the challenge to achieve this goal is make it almost impossible. Nowadays dictators and authoritarian regimes are finding new ways of using criminal justice as a tool of oppression and get away with their crimes. So prove a case without govt support is a herculean task.

  • 4
    14

    “The Tribunal, established in The Hague, Netherlands, where the International Criminal Court is also based, will be part of the Permanent People’s Tribunal in Rome.”
    —-
    Can this People’s Tribunal in Rome take up a case against Tamil terrorists who massacred Sinhala civilians and hiding in foreign countries under new identities?

    • 4
      1

      They will also take up next cases against Buddha terrorists, Dhamma terrorists and Sangha terrorists who did horrible crimes against Tamils, Muslims, Christians (in both Sorry Lanka and Haiti) and even Buddhists in 1971 and 1989.

    • 4
      1

      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

    • 3
      0

      EE,
      Recommend you devote your time and resources to attain that which will be acclaimed as laudable deed and a good Samaritan, without compare.

  • 9
    1

    a14455@
    These men are born thirisannu.. They cant adjust the prices of daily essentials, let alone, to make real wonders???? GOTA will have face the music next days. He should come down from post turtle state. Wedabari Tarzan 🤥🤥🤥🤥
    What else can we expect from brainwashed ones like u ? Ur breed is bulls eye as best example for total stupidity. Trump s men may have abused u over the years.😡😡😡😡😡

  • 0
    0

    Justice,
    They are busy at the moment to read, understand, interpret, analyse the recent NFE agreement at the behest of SJB.
    Once they have completed that task and advise the powers that be as to the outcome and action by the government to follow in that regard, they will then “Strategically” – (FS Professor Admiral JC’s, terminology)turn their attention to this dastardly act, as it is not of “Strategically” important as the former.
    NFE agreement if allowed to proceed unchecked may cause untold hardship on Sinhala Buddhists, depriving them of celebrating Peraheras and Universally acclaimed and UN acknowledged ‘Vesak Day’, (which is too important and relevant to the country of SBs) to its fullest!!

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