A number of commemorative events have been organized to mark the 10th death anniversary of former Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge who was brutally assassinated on January 08, 2009.
Family, friends, former colleagues and others, including those from political and diplomatic circles, will gather at Borella Kanatte on 8 January at 9 a.m. to mark the anniversary and remember Lasantha.
This year’s memorial will also feature a tribute to other journalists slain in the line of duty, acknowledging that Lasantha’s story wasn’t the only one.
Assassinated on 8 January 2009, Lasantha was one of Sri Lanka’s leading journalists and an outspoken critic of the Rajapaksa Government. He was attacked as he drove to work and later died of his injuries. The brazen attack was carried out by two gunmen on motorcycles in the middle of morning-rush-hour traffic.
The investigation into Lasantha’s murder has yielded no tangible results thus far and his killers still roam free, a decade later.
A forum titled ‘10 Years After Lasantha: Whither Investigative Journalism in Sri Lanka?’ will be held January 08 at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKI), No. 24, Horton Place, Colombo 7, from 4 to 6 p.m.
The speakers will comprise The Sunday Morning Editor and former The Sunday Leader Editor Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema, Sunday Observer Editor and former The Sunday Leader journalist Dharisha Bastians, AFP Sri Lanka and Maldives Bureau Chief Amal Jayasinghe, Nikkei Asian Review Regional Correspondent and former The Sunday Leader Features Editor Marwaan Macan-Markar and Groundviews Editor and former The Sunday Leader journalist Raisa Wickrematunge. A panel discussion will follow.
Ahimsa Wickrematunge, the daughter of the slain journalist, said: “Its hard to believe it’s been ten years since my father’s passing. It’s hard to put into words how surreal a decade feels when the grief is as real and consuming as it was the day he died. It’s hard when images of a crime scene are embedded in your mind; I don’t know if they will ever fade and if I can ever truly live in peace.
So many memories I shared with my dad have been clouded by trauma and the dirty politics surrounding his murder. We still miss him as we did the day he died, and we will not miss him any less in another ten years.”