18 January, 2019

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That Call To My Father On 08.01.2009

By Lal Wickrematunge

Lal Wickrematunge

The worst moment in my life was to call my parents in Canada on the 8th of January 2009 to share the dreadful news that their youngest son (my youngest brother) Lasantha was murdered. There was silence at the receiving end and I repeated what I had said in the mistaken belief that my father had not heard me. “I heard you”, he said and replaced the phone. A month later he stopped talking and was bedridden, never recovered till he passed away to join his youngest son.

I felt responsible. Was guilt ridden. Lasantha was coaxed by me to take up the position of Editor in Chief of The Sunday Leader by taking a sabbatical from his law practice from the Chambers of Ranjit Abeysuriya. He had informed his senior that he would set up the newspaper and be back in six months. He never went back. He was sent back to his maker.

For seven long years the investigation into his murder was confined to the Terrorist Investigation Unit (TID). From the inception it was clear that the TID was a diversion used by the powers that be to deflect attention from the real murderers and the cowards who gave the order. Four innocent persons have been murdered to date to lead the investigations astray. These facts are part of the Court record in the Magistrate’s Court, Mt Lavinia. The investigation was with the TID from 2009 to 2015. All of it during the regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Three years have elapsed since a new team at the Criminal Investigations Department took over from the TID. Fresh evidence gleaned show that the Army Intelligence was responsible for Lasantha’s murder and the cover up leads to an IGP, DIG and Superintendent of Police. Why should they risk their future to cover up a murder? I believe they knew who gave such order. The Mt Lavinia court has been informed and the court records indicate who was responsible.

Sri Lanka, a nation that has been independent for 71 years is yet living a lie. As long as rulers feel, life is about 225 legislators and not the people, our nation will flounder. Lasantha, was but one journalist who was murdered. One amongst a majority from the North of the country. They too must be remembered and their perpetrators brought before court. The murders of four innocent people to place the blame on the LTTE must be probed. Is it not obvious that the LTTE canard is the trojan horse of some politicians to vilify those they wish to destroy?

Ten years is time enough for our leaders to allow the investigators a free hand. The perpetrators are known. Court records carry their names. Allow them to be arrested along with such persons who tinkered with the evidence. I wait anxiously to make another call to Canada and tell my mother and siblings that Malli’s killers are charged in Court.

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Latest comments

  • 0
    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

  • 19
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    Biggest terrorist in Sri Lanka is not Prabaharan. Mahinda Rajapakse heads the list followed by Gotabhaya and Premadasa. Each of them have killed more people and have committed more atrocities than Prabaharan. High profile murders like those of Athulathmudali, Kadirgamar and Lasantha Wickrematunga were carried out by hit men ordered by powerful personnel in government at that time. LTTE had been used as scape goats to cover up these murders.

    • 3
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      Dear Dr GS, You told us LTTE killed my Father Earlier……………..since you know so much is why I asked you to join me to SL to start all the investigations?? open forum discussions on this matter etc???

      Please let me know when are we meeting for this urgent discussion.

      Please also ask all the like minded to join us for this justice with their family etc.

      I am also waiting for you to respond on the inside knowledge you have regards to Tamil Congress affairs in 1970?????????? Anyone working on the response please??

      Based on your response only I ca respond to Ajith who also made a statement regards to bribery involving my Father.

      Let us not leave any stone unturned and kindly help.

      People are reading your comments and you need to qualify…..otherwise is slander and has serious consequences. Lot of innocent people die when we make fradulant statements….specially when justice is double standard?? I have extensively responded to you hoping for a meeting and progress till the end out in the open…………..this is also part of making sure our people ask the right questions when they elect people in the future…..is why I have decided to take this journey with you. it is time we sacrifice ourselves for justice rather than someone else…our turn to be Martyrs for the cause.

      Thank you.

      • 1
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        For your information, the founder of Tamil Congress late Mr. G.G.Ponnambalam is a second cousin of my father on his father’s side. All relatives of my father who were living in Jaffna supported and worked for him. Can you explain why Tamil congress sacked your father from the party moment he crossed over. Can you explain why he had to contest as an independent at the next election and was rejected by the people. Can you explain why a giant killer at one election lose his deposit at the next election, if you think what he did was right. Can you explain why his students who voted for him were waiting to hit him with their slippers for what he did. Do not try to defend the dastardly act done by your father as no Tamil MP crossed over to the government other than for their personal benefit. Please follow the example of the son of Mr. Canagaratnam who when his father crossed over from TULF to UNP quite rightly condemned him. We need such persons with honesty and not one like you with double standards. I am not going to waste my time with you for a worthless exercise as to who killed him.

        • 1
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          Dear Dr GS

          This is your factual response to me???????????????

          You started this journey with me somewhere else making offensive comments and I spared my time to exchange facts with you thinking we can exchange facts on a chronological order to help each other and all others too.

          After all your abuse this is what you can give me????……more misinformation to suit your story line……..I want to discuss more with you in public………can we meet please and invite all the media too as my children can not bleed anymore to this fake story tellers and killers.

          Mr GS. You are you not a Sri Lankan citizen?????? you heard this stories from your relatives???????

          I have given you my email address for you to exchange meeting details already.

      • 1
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        As far as I knew Mr. Thiagaraja who was MP for Vaddukoddai,Ajith could be wrong about the bribery allegation that involves the said late MP in context of the ugly rivalry that existed between the defeated MP who previously represented the said electorate in Parliament and himself.

  • 10
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    Real tragedy is the protection provided to the murderers by the current government. How on earth can Sri Lankans expect justice when both major parties are hand in glove with crime of all sorts.

  • 11
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    Lal:
    Thanks so much for that excellent piece. I never knew till relatively recently, that it was your sister in Canada who was so kind and helpful to Sri Lankan parents with a babe in arms and a pre-teenager in Toronto in the early ‘seventies! Obviously, decency and kindness run in the veins of the Wickremetunge family and I can but hope that, at least in my lifetime, justice will be done and Lasantha’s killers will pay the price they so richly deserve.

    • 1
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      Emil van der Poorten

      Where is KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera?
      He has been missing since the failed coup.
      I am concerned about his mental as well as his physical well being.

  • 3
    10

    Priorities well and truly mixed up.

    Hundreds of soldiers died gave their lives during the war, not a soul to cry for them.
    The Parangis killed many innocent civilians but no one to cry for them.
    British colonials killed thousands in the island but no one to cry for them.

    But Honorable Gotabhaya Rajapakse puts down a CIA agent and an agent of the Western imperials and the entire colombo page is dedicated to him on his 10th death anniversary.

    • 3
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      Retarded ……………

      “But Honorable Gotabhaya Rajapakse puts down a CIA agent and an agent of the Western imperials and the entire colombo page is dedicated to him on his 10th death anniversary.”

      Do you support the former national hangman Gotabhaya for assassinating Lasantha?
      Did you sharpen/hone your kithul knife before attacking him?

    • 0
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      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

    • 0
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      Retarded Lt…….:
      If proof be needed of the kind of sub-human you are, you provide it in spades every time you desecrate the pages of CT.

  • 3
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    this was a result of our garbage political leadership and people who have no respect or value of human life. i knew lasantha and sonali 22 years ago at the time they are writing the article about brutal injustice to happen me from dirty sri lanka corrupted and politically motivated supreme court at that time. our law and justice system was subject to the dirty politicians control and lack of proper attorney general department ,we never see justice. attorney general department who sleep on the files,some time forget to bring back from the home or politicians offices.

    why we have to waste too much of public resources when main suspect is living in the Colombo under police security round the clock????. if people have courage let us ask from president now in charge of police to give order to arrest that murder without wasting time. prepared petition and get million signatures. after handing over such request ,if still this president who block such arrest and action act like animal ,must go all out to remove him from the job.

  • 2
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    It is disgraceful to see how these Colombians crowd at Lasantha’s burial site each year along with UNP MPs who are also responsible for not prosecuting his murder. The blame is laid only on Maithripala! Why not Ranil? Both are equally responsible for the failure.

    What hypocrisy.

  • 3
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    bell the cat Gotabaya, we need a closure. too many killed for this devil to dance.

  • 3
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    The Sri Lanken Army/House maids with there earnings/People of the country who sacrificed their children/Alavi mowlana who brought karuna to Ranil(split LTTE)/Tsunami/Sarath Fonseka a General for the time/Pakistan Pilots/Chineese weapons/Indian radar/US,uK INTELLIGENCE won the war. Gota and Mahinda were also participants.
    GOTA killed lasantha for profit, not for treason. Lets bell the cat

    • 0
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      Remember, all these happened during the time of the brutal war, and the responsible journalists should have acted responsibly supporting the government’s war efforts. Some journalists by their reporting portrayed them to be anti-war elements.

  • 1
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    i think stealing from the war effort is known as treason. mig deal was a steal. remember the small LTTE plane which came to colombo to bomb, why were there no migs to stop it. because migs were sitting in the garage -not operational. gota stole from the country when the war was going on. the punishment should be death.

  • 1
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    Lal, why don’t you publish in the CT, the Sunday Leader Editorial of 3rd August 2008, titled, ‘The Day After Tomorrow’. It will definitely stir the minds of many what Lasantha believed how the War would end and the intrigue that entailed.

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