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.
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.
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.