4 December, 2020

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Lasantha Would Have Turned 55 Today

By Lal Wickrematunge

Today, the 5th of April 2014, marks Lasantha’s birth 55 years ago. Five birthdates have come and gone and his family, friends and colleagues still remember Lasantha with affection. Is the pain less for those near and dear to him, after a lapse of five years? I say… No.

Lasantha_to_Uvindu_J[1]Many changes have taken place in Sri Lanka during the past five years and it is natural to wonder what impact, if any, Lasantha would have made, had he been alive. Most certainly he would have had plenty to say and say he would have aired his views, with a vengeance. Would he have influenced change or made a difference? He may have. He may not have.

In hindsight, I believe he would have been murdered nevertheless for what he stood for. It was a time when there was no space in Sri Lanka for someone like Lasantha. By not bringing those responsible to court, it is justifiable to believe that Lasantha was a “common enemy” and not worthy of bother in the bigger scheme of things.

Lasantha lived news and what could be termed “of politics”. His Suranimala column was digested with coffee by his readers on a Sunday morning. I am aware that many were stung by his exposures. One businessman, who thrived on government contracts and armament supplies, gloated over his murder. His exact words? “He was killed like a dog on the streets…Damn Good”. He did not know Lasantha but was stung by what he wrote. I felt sad that a human being could condemn another’s right to life, purely for monetary gain. But I digress.

Lasantha was not right all the time. Nor was he wrong. But he should have been afforded a full and natural life. He would have enjoyed his three children. He would have watched Sri Lanka reach the finals of the T 20 World Cup. He would have enlightened us each Sunday. But mostly, our elected legislators and bureaucrats would have been kept on their toes.

Was it such a crime that he had no right to life? More so, should the perpetrators and those who ordered his murder continue to be shielded for some incomprehensible reason? They too have had five birthdates since his death!!

Insiders say that the decision makers who order the termination of perceived trouble makers, may not see eye to eye after the deed but continue nevertheless to safeguard the foot soldiers who carry out such instructions.

It’s time for Sri Lanka to give Lasantha a birthday present. Bring those responsible for his murder to court. The Police can. Someone just needs to give the order.

Happy Birthday?

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Latest comments

  • 9
    1

    I am lost on which I should wish of! You were too good to the idiots of Srl Lanka. We the fair-minded laymen have lost a true spirit of journalism. May your soul find the eternal bliss Lasantha!

    • 5
      0

      Lal Wickrematunge,

      “Today, the 5th of April 2014, marks Lasantha’s birth 55 years ago. Five birthdates have come and gone and his family, friends and colleagues still remember Lasantha with affection. Is the pain less for those near and dear to him, after a lapse of five years? I say… No.”

      “Many changes have taken place in Sri Lanka during the past five years and it is natural to wonder what impact, if any, Lasantha would have made, had he been alive.”

      Lasantha was a true Patriot, who wanted an egalitarian society where each human being is respected and allowed to express his or her own views. Unfortunately, what we have is a Terrorist Dictatorship.

      May Lasantha rest in peace.

      What the living can do is strive fora free society where ideas and opinions can be freely expressed without being killed.

      Lasantha reminds me of Nathan Hale, American Patriot who said:

      “I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.”

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

      Nathan Hale (June 6, 1755 – September 22, 1776) was a soldier for the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. He volunteered for an intelligence-gathering mission in New York City but was captured by the British and executed. He is probably best remembered for his purported last words before being hanged: “I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.”[1] Hale has long been considered an American hero and, in 1985, he was officially designated the state hero of Connecticut.[2]

      • 2
        6

        Lasantha took unfair advantage of his being a “journalist” over his political rivals and paid the price. And his groupies are continuing the same crafty tactic in writing tributes to him invoking his “journalistic” greatness in order to score political points. The bane of journalism in Sri Lanka is lack of professionalism leading to its subversion and abuse by politicians and other opportunists. The LTTE was known to use “journalists” to infiltrate human rights groups, NGOs, civil society organizations, the academia as well as government intelligence, and even assist Black Tiger attacks in the south.

  • 6
    3

    Lasantha was well aware of the risks to his life. He penned an eloquent farewell note. It goes without saying his files would have revealed his suspicions about the possible assassins. Why did his family not reveal that information? Who were they trying to help?

    Lal, you sold the business to people who are very much part of the circle you imply were the involved. Was the money that important? Are you expecting them to suddenly develop a conscience ?

    • 5
      0

      Upul, You are being very unfair. The business was going bankrupt, boycott by government advertisers and unfair pressure exerted by Banks. He had to sell.

  • 9
    3

    A great and true voice of democracy has been taken out unlawfully by a racist Sinhala Buddhist state. It is sad that over 75% of the Sinhalese on the side of his murderers.

    • 1
      6

      .
      This has nothing to do with Sinhalese or Buddhists.

      Lasantha has no rights to comment about first lady.

      :-)

    • 1
      0

      Ajit,

      “A great and true voice of democracy has been taken out unlawfully by a racist Sinhala Buddhist state. It is sad that over 75% of the Sinhalese on the side of his murderers. “

      Do you have data or research to support the above statement?

      Please separate Truth from Myth. Your brush is too wide.

      • 2
        0

        It is based on the analysis of election results. Just analyze yourself.

    • 0
      1

      may be still you are in your toddler’s life or an overgrown child!.
      what is inside your brain or sitting on that?????//.
      what do you know about Buddhism???????.

      PLs Do not insult to a great philosophy with your silly knowledge .

      • 1
        0

        Yes. Buddhism is great and it philosophies are great. There is no doubt about that. But who destroy Buddhist principles and qualities. It is those who are against peace and justice, rule of law and inhumane. Buddhism belongs to those who practice it, not those who use it for wrong doings.

      • 2
        0

        JULAMPITIYE AMARAYA and Ajit

        People are confusing true Buddhism as taught by the Buddha with that of Monk Mahanama Sinhala “Buddhist” racism.

        True Buddhism is in the Tipitaka, A Good summary is given by Ven, Walpola Rahula, What Buddha taught.

        The Mahanama “Buddhism” or ‘Sinhala racism is written in Mahawansa.

        Read:

        Mahavamsa- An Insult To The Buddha!
        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/mahavamsa-an-insult-to-the-buddha/
        By Sharmini Serasinghe – Caution- The following is more suitable for the broad-minded and the wise. Others are kindly advised to pass!

        Wonder if ours might have been a wiser, and a more ‘humane’ society, had our ‘ancient’ history, been based on Aesop’s Fables, instead of the Mahavamsa. For if not for the Mahavamsa, the Sinhalese may not have been endowed, with the reputation, of “Sinhalaya Modaya (The Sinhalese are Fools)”!

  • 4
    1

    Without Lasantha Tsunami Jackpot would never have come to life.
    Alibabas, Thieves, crooks,criminals and commission kakkas wanted to silence him.

    Prageeth Ekneligoda was silenced without a trace like Lasantha and 12 other Journalists.

    Yes, Sri Lanka should reserve a special date to remember all the Heroic and brave Journalists who stood against unjust and sacrificed their lives for Justice, truth and humanity.

    One day the truth will come out and until that day his pepetrators will never sleep peacefullly.

    You can run, but can’t hide for ever.

    We salute Lasantha and other brave Journalists every day. They bring us courage and hope and still lives among us through their spirit. .

  • 1
    1

    It is sad to be reminded of the wrenching way of a true journalist from our midst. bensen

  • 2
    0

    During the recent elections a defector from the Democratic Party made an allegation which was widely reported in the Govt media. However there was no comment from any of the parties except that this appeared to be a concerted attempt by the Govt to scuttle the DP. There appears to be a conspiracy of silence amongst all the main players.

    Why this shameful hypocrisy? Lasantha appears to be as controversial in death as in life. Postponing the truth will only result in a huge fall out when the truth is finally revealed. Similiar attempts were made to silence Shauketally and Mandana Ismail. Politics, corruption, blackmoney and huge kickbacks seem to have motivated these criminal acts.

  • 3
    4

    i commemorate Lasantha’s, victory of salvation and eternal life on this day! A victory that we all need to seek. life here is very short, some may reach 100 years and are called blessed. but the true blessed are those who reach eternal life in Christ. we do not take anything from this world except our spirit. Our spirit is eternal and we live in joy eternally or we do not. it is a choice we make while we are in this world and Lasantha made this choice and those who are in Christ are rejoicing this fact. Why worry about those who killed Lasantha? they know what they did and can never erase this from their conscience. Many say that such people do not have a conscience, but this is not true because our spirit accuses us of ou sins. they too will leave this world one day, and enter eternity. No one takes anything from this world except his or her spirit redeemed or not. then who are we to judge their souls? there is a righteus Judge, the only One who will judge all. But we need to pray that they will repent of the sin they committed and escape eternal death. salvation of our soul is the greatest victory a man can receive through grace from an ever loving God and Lasantha reached this victory not because he was good but because he accepted the grace of God who sent His only begotten Son to die in our place and give us eternal life. he reached the victory and all of us need to seek that victory as well. Actually we need to commemorate his eternal life for he is alive but we are walking dead until we receive forgiveness and the new birth to receive eternal life!

  • 5
    4

    There are hearts still mourning about the death of Lasantha, though the lives touched by him are trying to get on with life.

    His wife is one of them.

  • 1
    3

    what ever . no bodys life is more importsant that anothers . just like that little [Edited out] balachandrans life is not more important that a child soilders

    • 3
      1

      What a hatred – this says everything about you, Abhaya.
      These are called sinhalese. I am really ashamed to be a sinhalaya when reading this kind of comments.

      Balachandran´s was alleged to be a targeted killing – until the truth surface we can not say anything about that. No doubt child soldiers from LTTERs or any parties were beyond all acceptance.

      • 0
        3

        what I stated is a fact . you are a fool of the first degree

    • 0
      0

      May be that is why you people celebrated killing of Tamils in droves!!
      You guys cannot forget Tigers and the sins committed by you all in killing, maiming, raping, robbing of innocent Tamil people from the 1950s. May be that is the reason you bring Balachandran without any relevance to the subject.

  • 4
    0

    Lasantha, You have not died in vain,You are a living witness to truth and justice and your reward in heaven is great.Truth cannot be suppressed or
    hidden,one day it will come to the surface like oil. May your soul rest in peace.

  • 0
    7

    Good [Edited out]

    • 3
      0

      Pure hate redness of the uncultured, uncouth Bastards as these, show their class and breed. What else to expect from these worms?

  • 4
    2

    Dear Sonali,

    We still grieve for Lasantha and shall always. On this solemn occasion our hearts and prayers go out for you. One day, God willing, there will be a monument for Lasantha in Sr Lanka.

    CT should censor the heartless and cruel statements that Fathima Fukushima makes.

    Hameed

  • 4
    1

    Lasantha was a fine investigative journalist. He had an easy fluid style and a compelling forthright manner of crafting his writing which held the attention of the reader. Sri Lanka lost a good journalist and a true patriot. With the UNHRC compelled investigations, I am hopeful that his killers and those who gave the orders will be revealed.

    • 0
      4

      Fine investigative journalist my foot!

      All he knew was to make unfounded allegations against politicians based on nothing but gossip. But he was making more gossip himself with his personal affairs.

      The man was killed partly due to his own stupidity.

  • 1
    0

    In Sri Lanka, even the dead can’t rest in peace!

    I think most commenting about Lasantha Wicremetunge’s character and motives did not meet or know the man.

    In Sri Lanka we like to think we know the person based on what we read, see or hear. Insulting and insinuating is a past time and its so natural most don’t even think about their actions.

    To an earlier post, someone had commented that the Sunday Leader had to be sold because it was going bankrupt.

    If that was what Lasantha’s legacy meant to his own, why the hell are we wasting our words here?

    Selling his newspaper to the same crowd Lal Wickrematunge implys were the hands behind his brother’s killing is shameful in my books and reflects the lack of values and principles in Sri Lankan society today. And, there is a excuse for not doing the right thing – ALWAYS!
    I thought all parents taught their children the difference of that. Mine did. I guess some have forgotten – rather conveniently.

    • 0
      0

      Upul, I am surprised at your umbrage. Is it something personal? If you think it is a waste of time, please do not comment. It is not a waste of time to me. I am paying tribute a fine journalist and no aspersions by you will convince me otherwise. I am hopeful that the killers will be revealed in the near future.

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