Authorities accused of attempting to stall Lasantha’s muder probe

Supporters of Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) burn portraits of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa during a protest in New Delhi, India, Monday, May 26, 2014. The protest was against Rajapaksa’s visit, holding him responsible for the killing of innocent Tamils during the civil war in Sri Lanka. Rajapaksa along with other heads of state from across South Asia will be attending the swearing in ceremony of India’s prime minister elect Narendra Modi, Monday. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)

The authorities were today accused of attempting to stall investigations into the murder of journalist Lasantha Wickremetunga, eight years after his death.

Attorney-at-Law Athula S. Ranagala, who has been appearing in the case, said that much progress was made in the fresh investigations launched after the new Government took office.

 However he said investigations have now stalled and he urged the authorities not to pull back the progress made in the case.

The eighth death anniversary of Lasantha Wickremetunga was commemorated at his graveside today in the presence of his family members, friends, politicians and others.

Meanwhile, Lasantha’s brother Lal, in a statement read by his daughter Raisa as he is overseas, said that Sri Lanka is a better place to practice journalism now yet, the past must not be forgotten nor revisited.

“Just as much as how the fraternity reacted when the draconian Criminal Defamation was repealed, politicians may have to bear for awhile for journalists to settle down to practice their profession with responsibility,” he said.

Lal also noted that most recently social media has been privy to leaked telephone conversations between Lasantha and the now defeated former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

“Effort is being made to show that Lasantha taped such conversations. His powerful voice from the grave was heard not much after his murder. Why would he wish to be heard now? But I digress. The taped conversations echo the principles that Lasantha stood for. Lasantha comes out Lily White in those taped conversations. If these were leaked for some other purpose only such person or persons could guess what advantage they would have gained by such leaks,” he said.

Lal Wickremetunga says the investigations into the murders, disappeared and abducted journalists must be pursued with vigour and the families of the victims must get closure.  (Colombo Gazette)