10 May, 2021

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The Politics Of The Decision To Kill Lasantha

The Politics Of The Decision To Kill Lasantha – According To Wife It’s Not Related To Journalism

By Uvindu Kurukulasuriya –

Uvindu Kurukulasuriya

Lasantha Wickrematunge, friend and fellow-journalist, was assassinated 4 years ago.  To date, his murderers remain unknown.  Investigations have been inconclusive. When the former Army Chief, General Sarath Fonseka broke away from the regime, the government publicly accused him of the Lasantha killing. For instance, the Government MP Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha* told BBC that the Defence Attaché of the British High Commission (BHC) in Colombo “gave a note” that accused the then Gen Fonseka of being responsible for that assassination. As the BBC reported the British authorities have neither denied nor confirmed Prof. Wijesinha’s statement. Two weeks ago when I interviewed Ranil Wickremesinghe he confirmed what he said at Lasantha’s funeral. He re-confirmed that the killers were four army persons. But in my opinion, even if Fonseka is responsible for the Lasantha killing what are the steps the other two people above him have taken so far? The President himself is the Minister of Defence, His brother Gotabaya is the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, both positioned above Fonseka. Killing Lasantha cannot be one of Fonseka’s own decisions.  He may have deployed the killers but killing such a high profile journalist is a political decision. That is why nothing is happening about his killing, I am forced to conclude.

Lasantha’s assassination intensified calls for media freedom. He was honoured, posthumously, with several prestigious international awards pertaining to media freedom. The newspaper of which he was founder editor, ‘The Sunday Leader’, is now owned by a close associate of Mahinda Rajapaksa. Four years later, then, more questions have been raised which  answers have been obtained. What was the politics of the decision to kill Lasantha? I ask this question as a friend of many years, and yet the questions that I am compelled to raise are startling. Lasantha, wasn’t just a journalist; he led a complicated life, and had many faces. His political practices were complex; sifting through the details may guide us closer to his killer’s motives.

Many people asked me who wrote the Sunday Leader editorial which was claimed to be one written by Lasantha just before he was assassinated and published in the Sunday Leader posthumously. The day after the murder, I went to Sonali’s house where Lasantha’s body was and asked her sister where Sonali was. She told me that Sonali ‘was upstairs finalising the editorial with someone else’. The same question was answered by Lal, Lasantha’s elder brother who was also Chairman of Leader Publications. On January 17, 2009 , in the London Times, which published Lasantha’s posthumous editorial with a disclaimer by Lal, where he admitted that ‘30-40 per cent was written by the staff, including the headline and the words ‘AND THEN THEY CAME FOR ME’.

This cast considerable doubt on the authenticity of the document. It was suggested that Lasantha’s computer be checked to figure out when he wrote it (if he did) and what percentage of the document was his work.  I don’t know if anyone took the trouble to do this.  If someone had done so, then that someone has not revealed the truth, either way.  All I know and what anyone who worked at the Sunday Leader knows, is that Lasantha never wrote editorials. Some claimed that the entire editorial was written by someone else.  Multiple sources came up with the same name, but since I couldn’t contact him I will leave that issue aside for the moment.

There is evidence that Lasantha was enticed into renewing his long standing relationship with the President, — first formed as he sought political gossip as a journalist years ago–  in several intimate meetings with Rajapaksa shortly before he was killed. In fact, after his death, the President claimed that Lasantha was one of his very good friends and that they met often, usually around midnight. Lasantha had even played a recorded conversation he had had with Dr Kumar Rupasinghe. Few believed this claim, offering that the President was just trying to cover up the murder and absolve himself of involvement by portraying Lasantha as a friend.

But in fact, Lasantha had played the record of the said conversation and Rajapaksa had telephoned Kumar and criticised him for double dealing. Around the same time Victor Ivan, the Editor of the ‘Ravaya’ told me on the phone: “Your friend Lasantha is meeting Rajapaksa secretly, and not just meeting but passing recorded conversations to the President”. He said “Ask Lasantha, he is your friend”. Angry Rupasinghe also rang me and confirmed the story.  I rang Lasantha and asked him and he, as was his usual manner, laughed and never said anything. What I found later was that Lasantha had met the President with his friends Pasan Madanayake and Eliyantha White.

I remember having a conversation with the Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremasinghe, former Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Lasantha in a niche of the 80 Club.   This was on September 6, 2008, at Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu‘s 50th birthday celebration. I told them that the President had invited me to meet him. Lasantha opposed it and said “don’t go”. I said “I’m not meeting a friend, it is the President of this country I’m going to meet as the Convenor of the Free Media Movement and also I’m not going alone”. He continued to press me not to go. And yet, all the while he had been meeting  Rajapaksa secretly. It turned out that Lasantha was showing another face to us.

I asked the leader of the opposition, Ranil Wickremasinghe, whether he knew Lasantha was meeting Rajapaksa secretly. He told me Lasantha never told him about it, but when he found it out and asked Lasantha about those meetings, Lasantha had admitted meeting the President.

Regardless of all this, I was convinced that Lasantha’s assassination was purely related to his fearless journalism. Rajapaksa wanted to silence Lasantha, I thought. The Sri Lankan media, across the board, tried to cover up the fact that Rajapaksa wanted to buy the Sunday Leader while Lasantha was alive. It was only I who exposed it after Lasantha was killed. I wrote to Index on Censorship about the deal:

“Not long before Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunge was killed, his brother Lal, chairman of the Leader Group, received a call from a Deputy Minister, Faizer Mustapha. Faizer said he would be coming to the company’s offices with some important news. He came as promised and asked Lal to get into his vehicle, telling him that they could talk while travelling. Lal was nonplussed, but got in. Faizer ordered his driver to drive on. A vehicle packed with security personnel followed. All at once, the vehicle with Lal inside turned sharply into Temple Trees, where President Rajapaksa was in residence. Lal found himself in the presence of the President. ‘How are you Lal? Let’s come to the point straight away. What is the selling price of the Leader Publications?’ Lal didn’t understand what was happening. ‘Let’s close the deal for 400 million rupees,’ the President had said. He told Lal to make a decision quickly. When Lasantha, who had been away, returned to Sri Lanka Lal explained to him what had happened. Lasantha was furious. The proposal went ignored.  It may be that the President wanted to silence Lasantha by offering to buy the newspaper at a price far above its real value. President Rajapaksa called Lasantha a ‘terrorist journalist’ in an interview with Reporters Without Borders in October 2008. He said the same thing to me in September 2009, tagging Lasantha as a ‘Kotiyek’ (a Tiger) during a meeting I had with him in my then role as Convener of the Free Media Movement. ” The State Media painted Lasantha as a ‘traitor.’ By painting him as a traitor, those who wanted him out of the scene were able to justify his murder.

Much later, towards the end of 2010, once I started to work with Lasantha’s second wife Sonali Samarasinghe as a consequence of a conversation we had, I started to wonder whether Lasantha’s killing was purely related to his journalism or if there was more to the story.

This was the time Sonali and I started a website called Lanka Independent. In the first week of June, 2011, I was writing on my findings on the disappearance of Prageeth Ekneliyagoda. It is my considered opinion that Prageeth was not abducted due to his journalism. I discussed this with Sonali. After listening to all the facts she suddenly said:

 “Lasantha unanth maruwe journalim nisa neveyne. … Hmmm …”

(“Even Lasantha was killed not because of his journalism…. Hmmm…)

Ay ? (Why?) I asked

“Oya danne naha. Anduva peralanna eyage thibba plan … Pissu oyata.  Oya danne naha eyage thibba plan. Intelligence ekka karapu eva nisane. Evath Journalism neveyne uvindu!”

(You don’t know. The plans he had to overthrow the government…you are mad…the reason is the “intelligence” [read, ‘espionage’] work he was engaged in. That’s also not journalism, Uvindu.”)

Mokakda? ( What? ) I asked

 ‘Lasantha foreign Intelligence ekak ekka weda kala, mama passe kiyannam’

(“Lasantha worked with a Foreign Intelligence Service…I’ll tell you later”.)

Quoting the above conversation we exchanged a couple of emails, but she never gave any further details.

After Lasantha was killed I got to know that Lasantha was working for RAW, the Indian intelligence outfit. A couple of days before he was killed Lasantha went to meet a certain woman attached to the Indian High Commission in Colombo at 1.00 in the morning and the Sri Lankan Intelligence had followed him. That theory suggested that his killing was related to espionage. I didn’t believe it. Was this the intelligence service that Sonali was referring to?  It is not clear.

But I had no reasons to disbelieve Sonali. I knew she was sober and fully in control of her senses at the time. Even after the conversation, we exchanged a couple of emails about the matter and she never retracted her claim. She was one of Lasantha’s trusted colleagues, then girlfriend, then wife, and at the end, his widow. A lawyer and a diplomat, she gave up journalism once the UNP came to power and worked at the Sri Lankan High Commission in Australia. Furthermore, even after Lasantha was killed she had access to his email account. On Saturday, April 2, 2011 she wrote to me that she sent Adele Balasingham an email from Lasantha’s email account requesting an interview and that it had bounced.  She said perhaps Adele had changed it because that email address Lasantha had was a 2003 one, activated during the peace process.  It was clear to me that she had access to his email account and read even emails going back to 2003 and she was in a good position to understand Lasantha’s work.

Even though all the cables were fairly low-level classifications and intelligence matters were not mentioned at that level, over the year I read all leaked US state department cables related to Sri Lanka in the WikiLeaks database. But I couldn’t find anything related to Lasantha implying that he was a spy or working with a foreign intelligence service. There was only one remark of that nature, but that was about another journalist, Poddala Jayantha. The US Embassy Colombo had informed Washington that Poddala was well known to the Embassy, and had been a key contact for PAS for years. (Read the cable here).

When I talked to his brother Lal about the conversation he said he had no clue. I interviewed Lasantha’s good friend, the Leader of the opposition Ranil  Wickremasinghe; he said he didn’t know that, but he had no reason to suspect that Lasantha was a spy. When interviewed Lasantha’s first wife Raine, she said; ‘I got to know this spy issue soon after he died. That is a totally baseless allegation, just another fabrication by those who are eager to tarnish his name even after death. They do it to cover up their own sins. The origin of this story may have some links to the fact that Lasantha was planning to take some evidence against a certain US citizen to the US authorities just before he was killed. If Lasantha was working for an intelligence agency, he would have been a wealthy man. We all know that Lasantha was a man who led a simple life and did not own anything of any significance.”

When I asked Frederica Jansz, Lasantha’s successor as the editor, she said, “Lasantha was an excellent journalist. An editor par excellence. Unfortunately, his journalism was overshadowed by political ambition, which impaired the independence of The Sunday Leader during his tenure. Soon after his death, a highly placed source confided that Lasantha was believed to have been killed not for his journalism but for his political connections and activism.  It was rumoured that following a late night meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Lasantha had been followed by local intelligence officers who allegedly saw him enter the home of a foreign intelligence agent. Rumour had it that the government suspected Lasantha of leaking sensitive information divulged to him by the President to an intelligence agent of a foreign government.”

What Sonali said to me was entirely a private conversation. It is unethical to go public with a private conversation if there is no public interest justification. As Sunday Leader and Sonali claimed, Lasantha predicted his death in his ‘posthumous editorial’. That editorial may be the most printed and read editorial in the world. Two of the world’s most prestigious press freedom awards were awarded posthumously given to him, the UNESCO world press freedom award and Lasantha was named 53rd IPI World Press Freedom Hero. If his wife says his killing was not related to journalism then the public should be duly informed.

Related posts on Lasantha by Uvindu;

Sri Lanka: breakfast with the president

I Finally Boarded The Plane

Remembering Lasantha Wickrematunga

None other than Mahinda Rajapakse

On  Prageeth Ekneliyagoda by Uvindu;

Was Prageeth Abducted For His Journalism Or For Mailing Human Ash?

Disappearance Of Ekneligoda And The Chemical Weapons Saga

*The following note is sent by Prof Rajiva Wijesinha and added by Colombo Telegraph on January 9,2013

My statement to the BBC was well over a year after Fonseka’s crossover and was made in passing when discussing a different issue, though characteristically they focused on this. I cannot recall the entire conversation, but my point I think was the changing approach of the British to Sarath Fonseka, which would have meant allegations of witch-hunting if the investigation had indeed revealed Fonseka complicity. It was not a public accusation, but a reminder to the BBC of double standards in their paymasters.

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    If that was the case the govt need not have killed him they could have simply released the information to the public and arrested him. That would have been a far greater punishment than making him a matyr and a legend.

    Killing is mainly to suppress certain vital information in his hands that were a threat to those in power. Same with Pradeep Ekneligoda. They were a thorn in their flesh.

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      As far as I know , Lasantha was blackmailed by ……

      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
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        He was blackmailed by someone else, ask his first wife.

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          Okay, let me put it this way, someone who wanted marry Lasantha blackmailed him. He forwarded all those threatened SMSs to another phone. That is I know for sure. Lasantha cried saying he cannot marry. I will email a full description to Colombo Telegraph email, for editors info.

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      The killing itself was carried out by trained military personnel. No doubt about that. The killers have been allowed to go free. No doubt that the govt is involved and also decision taken at the highest level.

      Why was it done? Various conspiracy theories. However if it was done by the govt with decision taken at the highest level, then the reason has to be political. Political meaning that the reason was deadly poison for the powers that be. The reason had to be killed and die with LW. Something he was about to reveal? Only he was privy to it and the other party his good ‘friend’ and maybe one other.

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      This ghastly killing has now taken new turn. It is time for his widow Sonali to go public about what she knows. Sri Lankans deserve the truth.

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      Lasantha was a traitor to the motherland and was an agent of anti government forces and a friend of the Tamil Diaspora. He was an agent of foreign powers who did not want the government to destroy the Tigers. He was a traitor and his punishment was death. There are so many Sinhalese traitors including an Army Colonel who carried a Tiger suicide bomber in his car to kill the president .

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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
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    This is the first time I heard this espionage theory

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    Attention all Sri Lanka Judiciary, CJ, Bar association, SC, all trade unions,opposition parties, Clergy…and the General public.

    Please watch he following video clip.

    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/sleepwalking-in-to-an-apocalypse-the-gathering-storm-of-sinhalese-muslim-strife/

    COME JAN 11TH 6.30 PM. AFTER PARLIAMENT PASSES MR FAVOURABLE VOTE AGAINST OUR CJ…….THIS IS THE SAME TYPE (ABOVE VIDEO) OF VIOLANCE, WITH THE HELP OF GOTABAYA…..RATNA LANKA BUFFALO ARMY…..THE GOVT IS PLANNING TO STROM THE SUPREME COURT BUILDING AND ACQUIRE IT CHASING OUR CJ.

    THEREFORE THE BEST OFFENSE IS THE BEST DEFENSE. THEREFOR BE PREPARED FOR IT

    I explained how few Family Jokers who don’t know a damn of Professional administration,good governance, business ethics and world affairs…….who control 90% of country’s budget and economy…..using puppets to fulfill their selfish power grab and wasting country’s resources on Mahinda Chintana, untested projects and economy.

    MARA’s economic systems are not based on either Capitalist nor Socialist…but a self promoting, long term power grab and a distructive economic system.You could see all the cutouts, advertisings and participation in all the projects NON OTHER THAN MARA BROTHERS ONLY.

    Please listen to following Derana video clip of ex CJ Sarath N. Silva desctibe what is Presiden’t character…..and how his decision to stand by Hedging Gamble not listening to anybody and as a result now the Petroleum corporation has to pay almost ONE BILLION US DOLLARS TO THE THREE BANKS.

    http://www.derana.lk/index.php?route=programs/programs/programdetails&pid=85&vid=5582&page=2

    Please go into other clips by clicking on those windows.

    This could be the reason why during the last few months, gasolene prices are been increades frequently.

    While president is incharge of country’s cash box,with 20 million rupee personal budget expenditure per day and with all the mega projects awarded with no tender procedures to China with unknown commission, Land sale and Lease, road construction etc…etc……………. Basil Rajapakse is incharge of the economy………….starting from charging rupees 400.00 per day for a 4′X4′ (4feet by 4feet) retail box in Nugegoda Bus stand and continue with all the markets and super markets, malls, airports,Tourism,Export and Imports, harbours, hotels, guest houses, aparment complexes, business entities all over Sri Lanka etc…etc…Divineguma 85 Billion Rupee will make him a MEGA BILLIONEER ECONOMIC DEV. MINISTER WITH NO RIVAL OR OPPOSITION IN SIGHT.

    while Gotabaya Rajapakse in charge of both all the defense services,Police, Prison industry, Ratna Lanka security services, all urban and interior development, School and Univ…security, nothern development and hotel dev.and construction industry he also started to control peoples, students and society through so called reformed and development projects.

    Therefore at the moment while country is in the total hands of the four Rajapakse siblings……….. when one citizen work ….there are ten puppet jokers been recruited to steel that one person’s income.

    CJ impeachment is the last source of power grab to fulfill MARA and his family dream of becomming the next generation of total Dictator in Asia.

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      hmm..I hope this must be D.Jayantha.G ? :)

      anyway your dream will not become a reality ,cos she will resign

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        Paul D. No that Jayantha is not me. That might be Poddala Jayantha who also has been assassinated (character), in this article by the best Sri Lankan assassin now.

        I write in my full name and not hiding behind some BORU name.

        You can read what I have written elsewhere in the comments. So please do not get too smart and get yours all knotted up. Thank You.

        Anyway, focus on this sensational unbelievable story, which obviously fabricated to divert the attention from the real murder culprits/villains who ordered the 8 military (Army) soldiers to murder Lasantha. Slander is an understatement, of this “cunning” fiction of this Ex Raavya employee.

        It does not matter whether CJ is impeached, forced to resign, or permitted to remain in her job. After all she went along with the Rajapakses all these years until she ruled against them in one case against the dictators.

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          I like you Donald, //focus on this sensational unbelievable story, which obviously fabricated// you mean Lasantha’s ‘posthumous editorial’?

          Of course it is sensational, unbelievable and fabricated LOL

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            @Kandiah, The editorial is not such a big deal anymore, 4 years after his murder. It sold some additional news papers. (Sunday Leader) There is more information on that matter which was not shared with Uvindu 2 years ago. So it did not appear in this sensational/unbelievable article. This is not the forum to discuss it.

            So do not get mixed up to suit your own whims. Thank You.

            Here is a balanced and realistic article or Op Ed from Hindu.

            http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/in-sri-lanka-an-unsolved-murder/article4287618.ece

            Hindu is an Indian newspaper based in Tamil Nadu and close to RAW the Indian SPY agency. The same outfit Lasantha is accused of spying 4 years after his murder. Instead of Lasantha being a great journalist, now is being slandered as the biggest SPY Sri Lanka has ever known, and in the same breadth his 13 day bride and now the widow was also slandered for sharing that secret and absolving the real murderers.

            What rubbish?

            This false allegation will hurt his first wife of many years and his 3 children who has already suffered a lot, one of them being ill hospitalized recently.

            It is so sad that journalist are so blatantly inconsiderate and viciously/maliciously attack their fellow journalist after their death. The murderers will stoop to any low level, without allowing poor Lasantha’s soul to RIP.

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              Donald

              Are you implying that writer of this article
              // Slander is an understatement, of this “cunning” fiction of this Ex Raavya employee.//

              is hand in glove with the Government ?

              Please clarify yourself for us laypeople

              Thanks

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              So you don’t like Lasantha’s 13 day bride Sonali and you like his first wife. What about you first wife? Here what she said;

              Here is a balanced and realistic article from Sunday Times. Your friend Ranil’s uncles paper –

              Opposition UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has admitted that he maintains a ‘social friendship’ with businessmen Charles and Jayantha Gnanakone because he has duty to listen to all points of view though they may speak in support of sympathy with the LTTE cause.
              Q: Charles Gnanakone’s brother Jayantha’s wife, Sharmalee, has said you and Jayantha are close friends.

              A: I have known Jayantha for a long time. On and off he keeps in touch with me. I meet Charles in Colombo. Jayantha Gnanakone has not been in Sri Lanka for a long time. It was in the ’70s and the ’80s.

              Q: What kind of friendship do you have with Jayantha? Can you call it a business friendship, or family or school?

              A: No, I used to meet him in the ’70s when he was running some businesses and on and off at various social functions. It was a social friendship. When he wanted some matters cleared up with the government he used to come to see me.

              Q: She has also said that you speak with Jayantha at least once in two weeks.

              A: Jayantha spoke to me recently when Sharmalee was arrested but there were no such other calls. I don’t know what she told you because I didn’t read that interview.

              Q. Then she is incorrect when she says that?

              A: Well, on occasions he calls me. Really, when he called me on Sharmalee’s matter that was the first time that I knew someone had been taken in.

              Q: She admitted that Jayantha is a strong supporter of the LTTE.

              A: Jayantha has always said that he wants to help the Tamil cause and has always been a sympathiser towards the LTTE, but he would also like to see a Sri Lanka that is not divided. We meet many Tamils who have those same views.

              Q: Jayantha is also indirectly in contact with Prabhakaran. Would not that implicate you to some extent?

              A: No, I am not in touch with Jayantha about matters on Prabhakaran.

              Q: She says you call Jayantha to find out about such “issues”. What could she mean by that?

              A: As I told you Jayantha calls me on and off. As far as the Tamil issues are concerned, those views are always available. There are so many people who express it and the LTTE view can always be obtained by the Tamilnet and their paper the Hot Springs. But he talks about Tamil issues and problems affecting the Tamils. But of course, his views in a way are different to what some other Tamils have expressed. I feel that as a politician, I have to listen to all views.
              http://www.sundaytimes.lk/000806/newsm.html

              Another article from the same balance paper –

              Narcotics chief explains story about Gnanakone’s mother

              Amidst all sorts of stories over the Gnankone affair, former head of the Police Narcotics Bureau has explained the events that led to the arrest of Charles Gnankone’s elderly mother on charges of possessing heroin and what happened after that.

              Former DIG Anton Jeyanathan, then the chief of the PNB, said that Ms. Gnanakone at the time of her arrest in 1991 was living alone at her Hampden Lane residence in Colombo 6. She had rented out several rooms to male boarders who were all Tamils mainly from the north.

              According to DIG Jeyanathan, some of the boarders at her residence were suspected to be pushing heroin for the LTTE. However this had not been established since there was no follow-up probe was conducted by anti-terrorist police units.

              Ms. Gnanakone was taken into custody after PNB sleuths acting on a tip-off raided her home and found the heroin stashed in a suitcase and hidden under the bed. There was no one else in the house at the time of the raid and therefore Ms. Gnanakone was held responsible for possession of the drugs.

              She was taken to police headquarters in Colombo and questioned on the third floor which houses the PNB.

              She was carried up in a chair owing to her poor health.

              Ms. Gnanakone was later produced in courts and remanded. She was released on bail three weeks later on medical considerations. She died owing to natural causes while out on bail.

              During her arrest, her son who was at that time in the US tried to make it out with human rights groups that his mother was taken to the notorious fourth floor and tortured. The former DIG said the allegation was baseless because the PNB operated not on the fourth floor but on the third.
              http://www.sundaytimes.lk/000806/newsm.html#2LABEL12

              After reading all those I can understand why are trying to cover up Lasantha Wickramatunga

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              @Paul. look at the article logically. Who was going to benefit out of this fictitious but malicious slanders? It was the murderers from the GOSL and those envious, jealous and absolutely petty journalist of Lasantha. The worst culprit is another editor, in Colombo, Milinda’s Golaya and the biggest cheer leader of the murderous regime. He is a very close friend of the author. Let me tell you, it is not Sahabandu from the Island. He did not go attacking Lasantha 4 years after his murder.
              The investigations on the murder is still going on although 8 army soldiers were arrested and were released after a secret deal was negotiated by a fraudulent expert on terrorism.
              Now those soldiers are kept in secret location with full comfort but no duties. Why?
              The fact remain that 8 soldiers in 4 motorbikes and all dressed in black rode brazenly in the morning in front of at least hundred eye witnesses. If they were not from the army, they would have been stopped and arrested. If they were LTTE members dressed in army clothing they would have been shot without asking any questions. In this case nobody stopped them before the murder, nor after the murder. This was January 2009 at the beginning of the chemical war fare against the Tamils where 100,000 Tamils perished.

              Even these so called Boru Journalist both in Colombo and UK do not have those 8 soldiers names published. That includes the Unbowed editors of Sunday Leader, Nation and Raavya? Who are they all kidding?
              No murder weapon has been established…. Was Lasantha shot or shocked to death with the electric cattle prod which is only imported by the Rajapakse regime…

              The autopsy report was never released or made public. Even the Sunday Leader owners, editors and everyone else do not investigate or ask questions about it. That includes those who claim that they are seeking the TRUTH. What a joke?

              An innocent Tamil man was killed in jail, after several months of incarceration and torture. Police said that Sahadevan died of a heart attack, but he was never a heart patient. There is no autopsy either. Therefore unlike Lasantha’s case, there is no question of an autopsy report. The poor family has been threatened by you all know who…

              Instead, this author slanders Lasantha that he was a spy of the Indians, and for money, and he was going to give evidentiary proof and documents to the US government. If Lasantha had documents confirming corruption of US citizens then he has a patriotic duty to provide that to the US embassy in Colombo, and he does not have to visit the USA….

              If there was such evidence why did these Sinhala journalist wait for years and release such information from London? And implicate Lasantha’s second wife who shared this author falsely claimed secret conversation.. They should have reported it to the CID and the Attorney General’s Dept. in Colombo. Not in some website, to gain “Google Points”….

              All these bogus claims stinks…..

              As for Ranil being interviewed 2 weeks ago, when he was on a private holiday in Italy, is a big joke…. That is another story for another day, my friends.

              Do not get carried away and be mislead by the secret “Cheer Leaders” of the Rajapakse regime.

              As for the Narcotics department of the Police 20 years ago, were absolutely corrupt. Not that they have improved now. Nor are the military and others in the whole island… Who are you all kidding? Now they all even resort to cold blooded murder as we saw in the prison riots in Welikada and Vavuniya….

              Some investigators are looking into “Blackmail” attempts on the Lasantha’s matter, and the UNHRC Geneva too are interested in the crimes in Sri Lanka… There will be more information soon.

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              Ms. Gnanakone was taken into custody after PNB sleuths acting on a tip-off raided her home and found the heroin stashed in a suitcase and hidden under the bed. There was no one else in the house at the time of the raid and therefore Ms. Gnanakone was held responsible for possession of the drugs.
              http://www.sundaytimes.lk/000806/newsm.html#2LABEL12

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          “After all she went along with the Rajapakses all these years until she ruled against them in one case against the dictators.”

          A good point I agree with you Mr Donald. But how is this one?

          “After all Lasantha went along with the Rajapakses and gave sensitive information to MARA, (even Ranil didn’t knwo about Lasantha meeting with MARA) Lasantha invited dictator MARA to his wedding, but MARA didn’t go, at the end he was killed by the same dictators.

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            @Chickera. Whether Ranil knew Lasantha met the President or not is totally irrelevant, and Ranil is not bound to discuss such matters with Ex Raavya employees.

            Lasantha was a good friend of Ranil and he never betrayed Ranil as we all know.

            There was a reason that Chandrika used to call Mahinda Rajapakse “The Reporter” during cabinet meetings. (If you remember in the nineties). Why? It was Mahinda who was leaking sensitive cabinet information to the Sunday Leader editor Lasantha, and not to the Victor Ivan’s Raavya. lol.

            None of Lasantha’s real friends have any problem with Lasantha’s integrity, or character. Only the Boru Friends seem to be having a problem and now resorting to slander… What a shame.

            GOSL taps telephones and emails to spy on their citizens, foreigners and gather information. President did not need Lasantha to carry sensitive news to him. What you might not be aware or many readers is that Lasantha started life with the Bandaranayake family in different capacities and knew Mahinda Rajapakse as well for many years.

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        @Paul.. One correction.
        The Tamil man who died in Prison after months of incarceration was Jesuthasan and not Sahadevan.
        This Sahadevan has been in jail for years falsely accused by the Police in 2005 after Sinhala hero, Kadirgamar’s assassination. He was the poor gardner at Thalayasingam’s home from where the gunmen fired the fatal shots.
        The Jayawardene brothers (Mrs Kadirgamar’s brother’s in law) Sarath and the former Defense Secretary (Asoka?)were in charge of his personal security at the time of the assassination.

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    I suspect that Uvindu is not saying the truth. He seems to have cleverly manufactured an alibi and diverted attention while obfuscating the issue, with claims one has no way of verifying or repudiating.

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      Lasantha Pethiyagoda

      “with claims one has no way of verifying or repudiating.”

      Please approach GR for confirmation one way or another.

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    A must read article !

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      Agree, a good analysis, Laantha had many faces.

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        IT COULD BE;
        MOST OF THE SRI LANKA’S POLITICAL PROBLEMS ARE CREATED BY INDIA.
        AND INDIAN INTELLIGENCE BUREAU IS SPENDING ABOUT 60 MILLIONS OF US $ PER MONTH TO SPY ON FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS.
        SO THEIR MOST CONCERN COUNTRIES ARE U S A, CHINA, SARC COUNTRIES,AND SINGAPORE BUT SPECIAL ATTENTION TO SRI LANKA,
        THERE ARE MORE SPIES IN GOVERNMENT, OPPOSITION, ARMED FORCES, MEDIA AND BUSINESS COMMUNITY.
        WHOM DO WE BELIEVE AND TRUST.

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        Indeed! one of which, apparently, was that of a spy!

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    Whole world was misled by this Leader gang and his wife saying he wrote this editorial. I’m grateful to Uvindu for the courage he shows revealing this. Everyone knows that brothers killed him with SF, but why on earth this bunch wanted to mislead the world manufacturing a editorial?

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    In Sri Lanka, who is not working for foreigners?

    When will these people work for their own people and country?

    After the war had ended MR said he fought India’s war against LTTE.

    VP worked for many except his own people and helped MR to win a war and depopulated the North East.

    Whats the matter with you people?

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    I suspect that Uvindu has an axe to grind. There is a lot of conjecture, and lots of information that has no relevance to the core of the story.

    So what gives?

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      I think it is clear.
      From the fake editorial up to now the Lasantha’s family is covering up something from the public.
      He was killed both Bothers and SF together.
      Lasantha was killed not because of his journalism.

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      Nabil

      “I suspect that Uvindu has an axe to grind. “

      Remember, we do carry axe.

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    To me there is one significant issue in this article. That overrides the allegation that Lasantha was a spy. If indeed Lasantha did not write the editorial which was published posthumously which The Sunday Leader claimed he wrote himself before he was killed – then this must be the biggest fraud committed by The Sunday Leader. Both Sonali Samarasinghe and Lal Wickrematunge have since travelled the world collecting awards including cash awards given in Lasantha’s memory for the stunning editorial published on January 11, 2009 following his death. The awards were given by international and well reputed media and other organizations who were amazed that an editor had actually predicted his own death and identified his killers before he was in fact murdered.
    The question is this. Why did no foreign or local journalist ever ask to see the original document on which Lasantha had written this editorial? All those who have worked with Lasantha at The Sunday Leader know full well he never typed his own copy. He never used a computer to write his copy. Week after week Lasantha hand wrote his column ‘Suranimala.’ It would then be typed by fellow staff members. So if indeed Lasantha did pen this editorial himself where is the original draft? In his handwriting?
    Why could not Lal Wickrematunge nor his wife Sonali ever produce just a document?

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      are you Dilrukshi Hadunnetthi ?

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    If Lasantha was so close to Rajapaksa how come his paper published virulent anti Rajapaksa exposes and articles in the Sunday Leader when he was editor?

    I can’t believe that Lasantha was close to Rajapaksa. It looks like both were playing double games behind each other’s backs but ultimately the weaker one lost out and lost his life. With the elimination of Lasantha a big headache for Rajapaksa was cured. I think he was murdered under the orders of the Rajapaksa brothers by the military.

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      This is nothing with the incumbent, he is even closer to that SN Silva as we saw some picutres posted on CT lately. That means not that MR is close to someone. He always has got his murder tactics in his undermind, to implement in the following hours, weeks, months and years. MR is the current day pol pot.

      Latest news prove that PC klling is connected with Mervin^s secretary. Mervin is a connected to PRESIDENT.

      http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=69970

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    “FU…….NG DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF KELAWEDDA’S SRI LANKA”

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    While reading the story and also reading it between the lines, it is not difficult to surmise why Uvindu has taken the trouble to write this article. He wants to convey the message that Lasantha was not really the fearless great journalist we thought that he was, but a shady character involved in shady deals. If Sonali knew that his assassination was not linked to journalism, let Sonali say it, Uvindu. I don’t think that you are a real friend of Lasantha. You are evidenly carrying a chip on your shoulder. A good journalist was assassinated and please don’t try to assassinate his character too. It is unfair to assassinate the character of a person who is dead, for the simple reason he cannot defend himself. Now Uvindu, don’t grudge the the international honours conferred on Lasantha! Let Lasantha lie in his grave in peace without being disturbed by a fellow journalist who calls himself his friend!

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      @Saman Wijesiri,
      Yes he was not a really great journalist. I never said that in any of my article. I only said he was the most courageous journalist.

      You say; Uvindu don’t grudge the international honours conferred on Lasantha!

      You are talking without knowing anything; This is what two family members wrote to me re two international awards;
      Lal wrote to me;
      Hi Uvindu,
      Pls let me thank you for nominating Lasantha for the UNESCO award which he won.Sonali is going to Doha to accept the award which is a good thing.
      Thanks again.
      Lal

      I wrote to him;
      you are welcome! but it was not only me. it was a collective effort. I’m really happy Lasantha won it.but he is not with us.

      This is what Sonali wrote to me;
      Dear Uvindu,

      Thank you so much for all you did on the freedom of expression award which must really go to Lasantha only
      Sonali

      Dear Uvindu

      Reference your email to me regarding awards ceremony, please be good enough to arrange an invitation letter and necessary documents within this week so I am able to arrange my visa to the UK. Thanks a lot
      sonali

      So Mr Wijesiri,I have no grudge as you proposed. I’m only a truth seeker, we need to find out why they killed him? Why Prageeth was abducted?

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        OMG.

        Why you come with all these ONLY now ?

        As one commentator has described it clearly, you have now become a supporter to the brutal regime and now onwards they will quote yours as – disgracing the deceased further. I thought you are a good journalist. Now only I feel how you are: :((

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    From what I have read of Uvindu’s writings, he comes through as a writer who has internalized the ethics of journalism to an extraordinary degree. I believe that he is sincerely reporting what he has heard from the sources he mentions. And he leaves the matter at that.

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    This article is full of hallucinations, and incorrect statement of facts, mainly to cover up the real murderers, who were quite close to the “real author”.
    As for the “They Came For Me” editorial, this information was provided to him by a Tamil in the USA and the so called author has been defending it for years. Why is this information or challenge being released now on Lasantha’s 4th death anniversary by a so called friend?

    The information about Lasantha having vital evidence against the two US citizens or Lasantha’s claim is true, and that is also part of a law suit in Colombo courts as a defamation case. But direct evidence was provided to this author, once again over 2 years ago by a Tamil, but no inference of Lasantha giving it directly to the US intelligence services or DOJ. That part is the Ghost writer’s/author’s hallucination and he is fully aware of what was told to him. More on this would be available in a documentary soon. Lasantha was the patriot and not the traitor who are busy running/ruining the country for personal/family benefits like the Marcos Family, Idi Amin’s or Robert Mugabe just to mention a few. Ghaddafi’s, Saddam Hussein, Al Bashir and Pakistani dictators are no better.

    It has now become a new favorite hobby of Sinhala journalist, to attack and backstab a great journalist like Lasantha, due to petty jealousy than anything else. Lasantha was a giant compared to these two pigmyies who have started to attack Lasantha publicly. how disgusting and what a shame. Disgraceful. There will be more details in a different forum, where there is no vested personal interest and censorship.

    This article is a poor attempt to confuse with convoluted material, in a pathetic attempt to cover up the actual murderers and those who ordered the murder, all of whom are seated in Colombo, well protected.

    Donald Gnanakone
    Tamils For Justice.

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      WF is this? a fabricated story by a financials supporter to the LTTE murderers? Instead of attacking the author of this article can you tell us what are the incorrect facts in this article?

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    Is it ethical to raise doubts about the integrity of a person who is no more? Uvindu once tried to denigrate Victor Ivan too. I think Uvindu is vicious because he is motivated by malice.

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      Is Ivan also dead?

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    Hi Uvindu,

    My question is why you decide to disclose it now. Anyway just because Sonali told this to you, does not mean that it is true. You have no proof other than what was told to you by Sonali. It created unnecessary suspicion on Lasantha. Who will benefit from disclosing this now? Rajapaskse supporters will be very happy with your disclosure. They will quote you to prove that Journalists in Sri Lanka were never harmed for their writing. I am sure state media will love your article and the story. It looks that knowingly or unknowingly you have become a great supporter of Regime. What is the purpose of casting doubts on Lasantha’s last editorial? What is purpose of giving the idea to the public that Lasantha was a spy? It wil discredit not only Lasantha but all the free media movement who are demanding media freedom and harassment of the journalists in Sri Lanka. Now government will have excellent excuse in future to evade responsibility. They may even say foreign intelligence was responsible for the killing since Lasantha was involved with them.
    Uvindu, I had a great regard for your journalism. But now I am beginning to question what is your ulterior motive for casting doubts on Lasantha’s true intentions.

    I hope you would answer above matters.

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      Agree with you 100% all these can be supportive to brutal regime when quoting against the murdered.

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      Mahendra de silva, “Lasantha Wickaramatunga’s true intentions?” What are they?

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        Oh Jana, the true intention? Became a minister under Ranil! :) :)

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      Thanks. You verbalized my thoughts. I have had great respect for Uvindu’s writing. I am also wondering what made him write this article.

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      Mahendra, you think journalists have to think about who is going to use their work after publishing? You are mistaken my friend!

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        The point is that his were totally the opposite until the current one.

        Now to turn 180 degrees wonders to many. That should not wonder you either. In a way, Journalists would not write articles supporting to both sides. After all the journalists that report on these sensitive issues. See, the guy Victor iwan stays as he is dead today – though noone expects hiim to. The very same writer had then been a controversal among the few. So you or others who may feel that journalists DONT need to think before publishing their contents – I would say – each and every journalist rethink properly about the impact of the their views after being published. If they would not – such journalists should NOT be sensitive ones. And the readership would raise the question whether to read his or him anyfurther.

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    These Sonalis and Lasanthas are not real journos. They work for the UNP and for money UNP has given. All details came out in White Flag case. One million rupees per week was pumped by the UNP to Sunday Leader. Uvindu is correct. Sonali gave up journalism once the UNP came to power and worked at the Sri Lankan High Commission in Australia. They wanted Ranil to became the President. They were sure. Then Lasantha ?? A minster. these things are not secret. If Sonali is real passionate journo, why accepted diplomatic posts? Is it journalism?

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    Uvindu you must be native veddahs people, I dont think u sinhala dump budhist. Keep up your work sinhala donkeys never going to change..they will ruin their life and others..

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    Lasantha was no journalist what he wrote was mostly fiction.

    The INDIANs’ killed him he was a spy turned double agent.

    Ha ! The fiction continues.

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      Even the editorial which was published posthumously is a fiction.

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    Lasantha’s brutal murder was symbolic of how the media is treated here. The fact that his murderers still roam our streets, and that his murderers go unpunished speaks volumes. This was no murder for private reasons. Looking at the broader picture and seeing how journalists in Sri Lanka are kidnapped, threatened, missing, and murdered, show that criticism, dissent, and reporting the truth, is not accepted by our government, and stifling the truth from being spoken out, gets in the way of a government pretending to be democratic. This should be unacceptable to all Sri Lankans.

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    “But I had no reasons to disbelieve Sonali. I knew she was sober and fully in control of her senses at the time.”
    Tut tut Uvindu,what are you trying to say? Is this then another one to add to the long list of the woman’s sordid and questionable ethics which we won’t go into here!

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    Exposing the helping hambantota theft of tsunami donations got him killed?

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    Thank you Uvindu.

    Your revelation is most illuminating. As we know, most antigovernment people who sell media freedom, democracy and civil rights are only doing it to make money from foreign interests.

    Now you have given proof.

    If Sonali and Frederica want to, they can deny your story. But I bet they will not because now they have achieved their dream of living in the US.

    These traitirs destroy the future of our children for their gain.

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      Thanks for what ?

      For revealing that could be correct or incorrect. Why you guys would not raise the question what is behind the unexpected infos ?

      Why was the same writer attacking the current govt in his previous articles ?

      To me and many who read Lasantha^s articles felt that his contents are no means bias but just the views that no other would risk to surface. Since the paper was sold to a confidante of the current regime, many of the readers got upset and -now not many are interested in the contents.

      Lasantha^s murder was carried out by the top leadership of the current rulers – comparable to the Baratha and the latest ones has been the PC MP Madawala who got gunned down a week ago.

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    Obviously Lasantha was not killed for his journalism, if he was then ALL the journalists must be killed. He was killed for speaking the truth. That was what Sonali would have implied if she did say what is reported here.

    Lasantha knew too much or those who wanted him silenced thought he knew more than he did. Journalists like “Deep Throat” have a way of pretending they know more to get confirmation from a source and this may have happened at one or more of his encounters with those who had things to hide.

    Yes, Lasantha must have had contact with many intelligence agencies, after all these agents go as Defense Attaches, Visa Officers and other titles to mask their true roles and even Uvindu must have met them. So, is Uvindu a spy too? Can Uvindu deny he has NEVER met an agent of another intelligence agency other than SIS?

    Moreover, I don’t see any evidence to back up his claims, just a bunch of assumptions couched as journalism.

    There appear to be some ulterior motives in this so-called piece of journalism, we may not know what it is now but time will tell.

    Hence for now, this deserves the “Fiction of the Year” Award and may serve as a nice plot for another story by someone like David Blacker.

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      Leon Emmanuel

      “There appear to be some ulterior motives in this so-called piece of journalism,”

      All games set and matched end in tears.

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    Who is Dirukshi? Maybe she worked at the Leader. Where is she now or where has she been all this while? lasantha started using a computer two years before he was killed. Ask his friends who received his mail and those that worked with him at that time. his computer was on his table.. Not those who left. Analysing all this will not bring Lasantha back nor will it tarnish his image. he fashioned the paper which caught everyone in Sri Lanka by surprise. Was he a spy for the full term? Why was he assaulted so many times? Why were the Presses burnt down? Everyone who has a flash of anger or wishes to support this regime will once a year throw a little Goma to the milk bucket to vent their frustrations. Ask the people who assaulted, shot at and burnt the place over the years why they finally killed him. Aesop’s fables are the preserve of Lankans who have severe frustrations to vent and wait for an ocassion. remember the famous story of SWRD and the Queen? We dont need security guards. when one tries to climb up others pull him down. lasantha created a phenomenal culture. A new one. All followed him and even benefitted from his style. many sought safety overseas after he was done to. let him rest in peace

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    It’s not nice to bring your private conversation to public.I think it’s not journalism.If someone saying their extremely personal things that because that they trust u.think….

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    If Lasantha was really a spy and part of an espionage to take down the governmenr then why did the president tell him everything knowing the sri lankan intelligence knew
    He was a spy?

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      These are just speculative views by guys that would not have a brain the size of a needle head. There are commentators – they just drop their views thinking nothing about but to pass their view. Ridiculous comments.

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    Thank you for your explanation, Uvindu. You have brought up something quite unnecessary, quite unproductive. Just see how many readers have taken advantage of your article to slander Lasantha. By all means seek the truth, but have consideration for sensitivities and finer feelings! Sorry if I have hurt your feelings!

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    We Shot The Lasantha, And We Also Burnt The MTV (sung to the tune of ‘I Shot the Sheriff’)

    You have heard of the ‘Doobie Brothers,’ and the ‘Bellamy Brothers.’ Now put your hands together Ladies and Gentlemen…for ‘Rogerproxy and the Righteous Brothers,’ who will perform their new ‘hit single,’ We Shot The Lasantha, And We Also Burnt The MTV (sung to the tune of ‘I Shot the Sheriff’) the harmonizing is done by the ‘Mahasone Balakaya Singers’ and the ‘K9 Choir of Vienna.’

    We Shot The Lasantha, And We Also Burnt The MTV
    (sung to the tune of ‘I Shot the Sheriff’)
    By Rogerproxy and the Righteous Brothers

    We shot the Lasantha, and we also burnt the MTV.
    We shot the Lasantha, and we also burnt the MTV.

    All around in ‘The Land of the Blind,’
    They are blaming our ‘Gang of Four’.
    They say they want to bring us in guilty,
    For the killing of ‘Lasantha’,
    And burning of the ‘MTV’.
    But we say:

    We shot the Lasantha, and we also burnt the MTV,
    but we swear it was not in self-defense, (it was just to teach the media a lesson.)
    We shot the Lasantha, and we also burnt the MTV,
    and we say it is a minor offense…(an International Conspiracy)

    Lasantha always hated us;
    For stealing the ‘Tsunami Aid’ and ‘Crooked Arms Deals’.
    He exposed are dirty deals in the ‘Sunday Leader,’
    So we said ‘Kill him before he exposes more!’
    So we said ‘Kill him before he exposes more!’
    We say:

    We shot the Lasantha, and we also burnt the MTV,
    but we swear it was not in self-defense, (it was just to teach the media a lesson.)
    We shot the Lasantha, and we also burnt the MTV,
    and we say it is a minor offense…(an International Conspiracy)

    Lasantha was on his way to the office,
    To expose all our dirty deals.
    So we shot, we shot him down.
    We say:

    We shot the Lasantha, and we also burnt the MTV.
    We shot the Lasantha, and we also burnt the MTV.

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    Here is my take on this article and the comments.

    Anyone can have political aspirations. Intelligent people not having political aspirations or not willing to come forward have led us to be ruled by Mervyn Silva et al.

    As for foreign spy agencies having a finger in our pie,is happening even now. The RAW is well connected within and outside the govt. So, is the ISI, CIA etc.. This is normal practice. As an ISI head once opined, they make contact and keep cordial relationships with all political parties, opinion leaders etc making sure their contacts are in place in a new govt.

    It is thought that the RAW and Madame Butterfly, Anupama Rao, the then HC of India was behind CBK sacking Ranil’s Govt. CBK regrets the move now. Apparently RW was not as close to the Inidans than to the West. One will remember, when the Tsunami stuck, the acting head of state, MR called Anupama Rao, who was in India then, to mobilize Indian assistance.

    In this context, given what we know now, let me pose a question, Yes, the LTTE shot Kadirgamar, Did anyone pay the shooter ? Who was to benefit most in taking K’gamar out ?

    What do members of the forum think ?

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      There are many who have surmised like you. The GOSL always had underground and underhand contacts with the KP like chiefs and the LTTE to the very end of the war. What about the bribe to VP and his LTTE for boycotting the presidential election that enabled MR to become the president? The evidence may come in 30, 60 or 90 years time like the recent release which stated that Winston Churchill wanted the top NAZIS put before a firing squad than go through the Nuremburg trials.

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