Lasantha killing, a savage assault on media independence - TNA

[TamilNet, Saturday, 10 January 2009, 13:56 GMT]
Condemning the assassination of Editor of The Sunday Leader Lasantha Wickrematunga, and extending deepest condolence to his family, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), in a press release issued today said, "Mr. Wickrematunga has been an ardent critic of the incumbent government," and "the manner of the assassination of Mr. Wickrematunga bears the same hallmarks as the manner of the assassination of the much respected late TNA parliamentarian Hon. N. Raviraj. The TNA has little doubt that Mr. Wickrematunga was targeted by those who were embarrassed by his exposure of the truth and their excesses of high office."

Full text of the press release follows:

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) condemns in the strongest possible terms the assassination of Mr. Lasantha Wickrematunga the Editor of The Sunday Leader newspaper. He is one of the most senior persons in the field of journalism. He is also quite easily one of the most fearless and consequently one of the most respected journalists in Sri Lanka. This assassination is a savage assault on the independence of the media and the right of the general public to be well informed of the truth in regard to many matters of the utmost concern to them.

Mr. Wickrematunga has been an ardent critic of the incumbent government. He is a pioneer in the field of investigative journalism through which has been systematically exposing the excesses and corruption of persons in power. He has also been boldly critical of the defence establishment and the Government’s approach to finding a military solution to the Tamil National Question.

Mr. Wickrematunga was assassinated in broad daylight on a busy road. It is clear from the manner in which the assassination took place that the assassins were confident that they would not be obstructed or apprehended in the course of committing the crime. It would be relevant to point out that the manner of the assassination of Mr. Wickrematunga bears the same hallmarks as the manner of the assassination of the much respected late TNA parliamentarian Hon. N. Raviraj. The TNA has little doubt that Mr. Wickrematunga was targeted by those who were embarrassed by his exposure of the truth and their excesses of high office.

The TNA extends its deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Wickrematunga and to the Leader Publication group of papers.

PARLIAMENTARY GROUP
TAMIL NATIONAL ALLIANCE


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