29 September, 2020

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Mel Murder; Third In A String Of Attacks On Sri Lanka’s Top Business Reporters In The Last Year

Sunday’s murder of former editor of the Lanka Business Online and leading economic journalist Mel Gunasekera, is the third in a string of attacks on Sri Lanka’s top business reporters in the last year. In February last year the Sunday Leader journalist, Faraz Shaukatally, was shot by unidentified men and admitted to hospital. In August 2013 there was an attack on the house of the business editor of the Sunday Leader who was married to the Associate Editor of the same paper. The couple subsequently fled the country. Reporting on Sri Lanka’s economy has become an increasingly risky profession as it often unearths allegations of corruption involving top politicians.

Mel

Mel

It’s not yet clear if the murder of Mel Gunasekera has a political angle or is just a robbery that went wrong, but in a country like Sri Lanka where so many critical journalists have been silenced there will always be those who wonder what she wrote that might have displeased the authorities.

According to the police all three attacks were robbery attempts.

Three top business journalists were attacked are;

February 16, 2013 – Sunday Leader Journalist Faraz Shaukatally was shot by an unidentified group. He was admitted to the Kalubowila hospital.

August 24, 2013 – The Sunday Leader business editor Romesh Abeywickrema‘s house ( Husband of the  Associate Editor of The Sunday Leader newspaper Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema ) residence was attacked

February 02,  2014 –  A leading economic journalist, former Agence France Presse (AFP) and Lanka Business Online editor Mel Gunesekera has been found murdered in her home in Battaramulla, a suburb of Colombo.

Related posts;

Mel Gunasekera Murder; Suspect Arrested In Dompe

An Eulogy: Mel Gunasekera

Sri Lanka AFP Journalist Murdered In Her Home

UN ‘Deeply Disturbed’ By Sri Lankan Shooting

“Fonseka Killed Lasantha” President Told Lal Three Times: Uvindu Tells Navi Pillay

Journalist Mandana Attack: One Shot Dead, Four Armed Men In Police Custody

Rajapaksa Family Stands To Receive In Commission Anywhere Between US$1.2 To US$ 1.8 Billion During 2005-15

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Latest comments

  • 2
    1

    Bodhisathva country with village-thug saints.

    • 8
      1

      They have found another ‘kangatta’ as a suspect.
      But the main killer the lunatic madman, who is responsible for attacking, intimidationg, abducting and killing every anti regime journalists is very much at large.

      • 5
        1

        The best thing is “UP TO NOW NOT A SINGLE GOVT’S BUM-SUCKING JOURNALIST HAS GOT KILLED” If a Baboon faced Rajpal is dead under similar circumstance you can say its a normal happening. But, always its is the people who are critical of MR govt., are getting killed. Repley’s- Believe it or NOT.

    • 4
      0

      MORE ON THE MURDER

      According to news in the DM today it is said the suspect has walked through the front door which was not locked. There are four dogs that have been barking non stop and the screams heard by the neighbours. Further the suspect possibly caught in the CCTV of a neighbour. Was that CCTV do surveillance on Mel’s house or of the owner’s? If the neighbours heard screams and the sound of the dog’s barking, looks strange why they did not probe as they would not have had to wait long for the family to return from Church, maximum an hour and the neighbours would have seen the suspect and possibly apprehended him.

      POINTS TO PONDER

      At a time the MR Govt is cooking up statistics to show Foreign Donor Agencies a rosy picture of the country’s economy, to help obtain further funding to the MR Govt, was Mel Gunasekara working for Fitch Ratings and AFP a stumbling block?

  • 0
    2

    There top business journalists were attacked are;

    CT -There seems to be a typing error above; “There” , I think should be Three ?

  • 5
    0

    .
    “According to the police all three attacks were robbery attempts”.
    .
    .
    It’s becoming shame to be in SriLankan Police.

    :-)

    • 2
      4

      WOW… We seem to have very rich media people in Sri Lanka!!!!!

  • 2
    4

    Do you think Shaukataly incident had journalism issue ? I doubt v.much. He did not come close to any serious journalists like Mel G. Did he? And you CT Editor have with difficulty dragged Mandana into business reporting through her husband. That is not necessary. Mandana in her own right is a good journalist and the attack is condemned.
    Amarnath

  • 4
    6

    CT how dare you blame every murder to the government of Sri Lanka, thief already arrested, other wise your website will say Gota killed this woman

    • 10
      2

      You have just said it you nit wit no need CT to come with any names.
      What a licker you are, a real sattembiya.
      Man, I hate your sight. Please leave this forum and find a job at one of those bus stand lavatories.

      • 2
        0

        Mara P Hora ,What an idiot you are to believe al the tabloid articles with out verifying it therefore best suited job for you is cleaning bus stand lavatories

        • 1
          1

          Atleast you can try not to show your bankrupdy kris.
          Say something different. Lavatories for you man.
          Dont just attack for the sake of attacking.
          Your regime Gona’s days are numbered. Hey days are over. Clear signs are emerging. Save your breath. You need lot of courage and energy to digest.
          There is stil time for you to think and reform. Stop taking your regime-ganja. Be sober and be fair and be a human first.
          If not you ‘ll be the loser!
          I dont give a damn to you but this is just an advise.
          Take it or leave it.

          • 0
            0

            Mara P Hora

            Day dreamers like you every day dreaming of collaps of regime , wake up everyday from the dream and realised it is not happened and start dream again

            All these bankrupt political parties and people only wish is to change the regime and come power that will never happen

            • 0
              0

              Hey Kris!!! Why didn’t you come for the stitches. You have got ripped again boy. MaRa has raped the entire country and its system and getting caught to the ICT. The steel mechanical Arm (US) is coming closer to squeeze the oranges of the regime. Beware of the squash splashing on your face.

              • 0
                0

                Darwin

                Here we go

                Another daydreamer dreaming about US come to rescue them, US help to eradicate terrorism from SL , this resolution just to show the world that US are in good books , idiots and daydreamers like you dreaming every day about regime change with the support of western countries after failing all your trumps cards , Regime change will never happen

                Keep Daydreaming

  • 2
    0

    A wave has been created. But all of us should remember that when the WAVE hits the shore it scatters! Lets see when this wave hits the shore and what repercussions are going to be there.

  • 2
    0

    no smoke without fire

  • 0
    1

    [Edited out]

    Please write instead of posting links – CT

  • 2
    3

    It has been reported on the Gossip Column that Mel Gunasekara murder was the result of burglary by the house painter that became too familiar to the family.

  • 2
    5

    This regime is corrupt beyond imagination but keep your energy to attack if govt. cannot apprehend real culprits.

    Already one was arrested confessing for robbery & killing,with credible evidence, just wait a while

    • 4
      2

      Credible evidence such as what?
      You seem to know a lot than CT and other media.

      • 4
        0

        The CCTV recordings taken from her home and neighbours seems to be the credible evidence referred to in this case. Apparently these are still in police custody and have not been made public yet.

        • 4
          1

          Marwan, you have completely missed the point.
          If you want to harm someone without getting caught would you show yourself as Marwan or would you rather be a Paint or Mason baas (allegedly it was a paint bass in this case)?
          Premeditated killing means well planed.
          This suspect maybe the killer with CCTV footage and other evidence but the question is who is this suspect?
          If he wants to steal money or valuables why select a journalist while there are rich neighbour hood around.
          All bullshit, This ruthless regime is intimidating journalists. Killing has become a hobby of the powerful members of the regime. I still cannot believe the fact that the news of that so called first woman’s (I cant call her a lady) idiotic brother diverted flights twice in a week. Who are they playing with? Who is actually this family? Ridiculing the entire nation.

          • 3
            1

            I also think the way you do.
            I wish I could read what the victimised family say about the findings related to the mason. HOw come police was able to find the killer that quicker while no plans were even made in terms of previous killings like that of Lasantha even after repeated beggings made that victimized families.

            • 1
              1

              The ruling thugs are even capable of making blak into white if they want to achieve things on the line of crimes. There they are the world champions. But Rajapakshes will have no sensitivities to achieve permanent peace. It is like waiting criminals to become mother theresas.

          • 1
            0

            Just to answer your question, he might have selected this house as he knows ins and outs of this house. Probably he might have known that Mr. Gunasekara own a polythene factory adjecent to the house.

  • 9
    1

    These are indeed dangerous times for journalists, who may have earned the wrath of others, for professional reasons or otherwise.

    Journalists can now be killed by robbers or the miffed, and the finger will naturally be pointed at the powers that be. The precedent was set, with the brutal murder of the prominent member of the fourth estate, Lasantha Wickrematunge, and the lackadaisical attitude adopted by the authorities, regarding the investigation.

    A similar situation took place, during the 2nd JVP insurrection in the late 80s.Prominent journalists, such as broadcasters Premakeerthi de Alwis, Sagarika Gomes, ThevisGuruge, and News Editor of Rupavahini, KulasiriAmaratunge were said to have been murdered by the JVP.

    In the case of Sagarika’s murder, it was attributed by some, to a dispute of a personal nature, and not the work of the JVP. But the general belief, was that it was the work of the JVP.

    Similarly today, it has been said, that the attack on the Sunday Leader journalist, FarazShaukatally was of a personal nature. But quite naturally after the murder of Lasantha, fingers were pointed at the powers that be.

    Likewise today, Mel Gunesekera’s murder, is reportedly have been committed by a mason who had worked at Mel’s house. But the initial suspects were the powers that be.

    Hence today, the State and the JVP of the 80s, are in the identical situation- perceived as murderers of journalists!

    Therefore, journalists of today, are vulnerable, not only to the powers that be, but robbers, the personally miffed and blame it all on the powers that be!

    • 7
      2

      Ms Serasighe,

      Please take good care of you. Pass the view to all your colleagues too. We all love your articles. The word power of you and the few others are more valuable than diamonds at this critical juncture of our country. Those who make hearted efforts specially on HUMAN rights seem to destine short lives. I really dont think that the murder of Mel could be carried out by a mason – ALL these quick findings could well be red herrings in order to leave a good image about the country – since UNHRC is sessions are not even few weeks away.

      • 0
        0

        ha ha my a$$

    • 6
      0

      Dear Sharmini Serasinghe ,

      please take extra precautions , strange things seem to be happening to all the descent who openly criticize the junta ( Remember Sripathi S , Anura B et al )

  • 0
    1

    The Danger living in times under emergency rule is when people sort to take revenge & usually I do agree the blame is passed on to the ruling government ,one of the saddest stories of such after the Kataragama beauty queen who was raped men in uniform during the JVP’s first uprising & who was then made to be buried alive by her uncle ( a sad story never to be forgotten) then the sad story of Sagarika Gomes which her grocery shop owner seemed to have been the master mind behind.

    This is what happen when you have continued emergency in a country it is mostly abused by thugs , rapist ,and people who want to fulfill their revenge & in a Country like Sri Lanka where any murderer the max is jail sentence is a real mockery to the Victim’s family.

    Strange though like one shot MP Ranjan was humiliating Saudi law as barbaric and I am sure by which he condone the various murders and crimes in our country ,of cause how can he afford to loose the votes such people may have canvassed for him..

    He was crying hard crocodile tears for the young Muslim maid’s clemency thinking Saudi will bite his bait ,so he could save all his future criminals who commit crimes in The Kingdom,I admit Sri Lankan Muslims are a bit stupid they would bite any bait ,but Saudis will not.
    …………

    The government must first re introduce death penalty ,for drug trafficking, Murder and rape. and remove even the slightest form of emergency in a war free country .

  • 0
    0

    A crying shame that killing of journalists continues unabated under the watch of this regime and its leadership. The only problem I have is trying to understand any motive, if there was any, as the need to silence her. Was it in revenge for something she wrote, or, she was getting ready to expose any criminality, as was in the case of another female journalist who escaped with her life and managed to flee the country. Whatever it is, the incriminating evidence keeps piling on. The strangulation of free media, zero tolerance towards opposing or critical views, abuse of human rights and its many violations, done with impunity. The cover-up version for who dun it ‘a former painter’ is all too familiar, and seems to be the fall guy in this ongoing saga.

  • 1
    0

    Ok so now we have painters who slit throats???

    • 2
      0

      This is sadly not an uncommon thing. It happened to a family friend a few years ago in Colombo. The culprit was the mason baas who had been working there for some time. It was the same as Mel’s case, a robbery gone wrong. You should never get too familiar with these people, always keep them at arm’s length as you never know who they might be.

  • 0
    2

    Late Mel Gunasekera saga…………..
    Is it FATE or KARMA ?????????????

  • 1
    0

    The thief did not target a journalist. She happened to be a journalist and for that matter any body would have been there at that time would have got killed.

  • 1
    0

    I think this article is one instance when the writer got ahead of the facts.

    Yes, Sri Lankan Police is politicised to the extent that nothing they do or don’t do can be judged fairly.
    Yes, attacks on journalists have happened.
    Yes, the tendency is to find a scapegoat even when none exists!

    In this instance, the Police should be commended that they worked the evidence and got to the culprit quite fast. Naturally, one can assume no warrants were required to get cell phone information etc…

    Tragically for this victim, she confronted the murderer probably thinking she can scare him away. In his mind, she was a witness and therefore could not be left alive.

    Lets not get the Rajapakses mixed into every incident. Some things happen, no matter how tragic and unfortunate.

  • 0
    0

    Marwan,

    Shame on you! You can do better!

  • 2
    0

    As far as I know, this poor lady said nothing against the govt in her work. Her job was to report on the economy, not the internal politics of our buffaloes. However, I see nothing but a bunch of punakku-munching idiots here. Most of you guys WANT this journalist to have been murdered by the govt just to further your own agenda, and no evidence to the contrary will change your idiocy. You guys are the saddest, most pathetic bunch of twits I’ve ever seen. Get a life, you pathetic lot.

  • 1
    0

    There is nothing to be ashamed of when the likeliness of it being the truth is so bitter. There have been far too many sinister happenings in recent past to just gloss over this as another criminal incident, that just happened in broad daylight. Do you know that there are estimates that about 6,000 army deserters needing rehab who are roaming free. The cash missing was Rs. 1,200/-, and is this amount worthy of a precious life? You don’t seem to remember the recent raid on another lady journalist home by 4 army personnel, of which one member of the gang was shot and killed ‘accidentally’ by police. The reason for the raid using Army bandits is all too familiar. Or may be you deny that too as a one off situation. Step down into reality and assume the worst until proven otherwise. You are living in a land striving to become ‘the blunder of Asia’.

  • 2
    1

    What a joke, a “painter” killed this journalist.This corrupt government is “PAINTING” another picture.Well,THIS IS WHAT I BELIEVE this guy who was caught might have been TOLD we (this government) will give you x amount of money and we will look after your family and take the responsibility of this and after about 3 months we will release you.This guy was caught with in 24 hours, but Lasantha’s over many years

    US,UK and anyone who can help SL to get rid of this MOST corrupt government would get the DIVINE BLESSINGS FROM GOD ABOVE

    • 0
      0

      EXACTLY.
      I am longing to read the version of the family.
      They will have to reveal it to the press sooner or later.
      In a time, where they arbitorily change facts and figures to prove locals and the IC – so called economic progress they have achieved -in the same time, hyping that a million of tourists arrived in tot he country last year..etc.. nobody with a little brain would get them, but those who would not think beyond will get easily caught. Anyway, we have to give this some time how it would come to light. Days ahead will be darker than it appears to be. Lies will not last longer.. that we are crystal clear no.

  • 1
    0

    Now my other question is, would they release CCTV records to the public or to Sri Lankan independent journalists?

  • 0
    0

    Thondamanaru -may be you fate or karma may take a worst turn -sadu ,sadu ,amen amen,, for pigs like you who relish on others sorrow ..

  • 0
    0

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