Remains of journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge exhumed

ctu7z0svyaaizppThe remains of slain newspaper editor Lasantha Wickrematunge were exhumed today to conduct a fresh investigation over his murder, seven years after he was killed.

His remains were exhumed at the Borella burial grounds in the presence of a Magistrate and under tight security.

The exhumation was suspended for a few minutes when a drone was seen flying over the site taking visuals from above.

The media was not allowed to enter the premises and as a result even the drone was not permitted.

Wickrematunge, who was the founding editor of The Sunday Leader newspaper, was killed while he was on his way to office.

Popularly known for his investigative journalism and for the stand he took on media freedom, Wickrematunge was believed to have been killed for taking on the then government which was on the verge of defeating the Tamil Tiger rebels after 30 years of war.

Investigators had obtained court approval to exhume the remains after suspicion arose over the exact manner he was killed.

While in 2009 it was believed Wickrematunge was killed from gunshot wounds, investigators now believe he may have died from injuries sustained after a sharp object pierced through his skull.

In a pre-written editorial which was published posthumously Wickrematunge feared he would be killed for his work.

The current editor of The Sunday Leader newspaper Easwaran Rutnam said he was cautiously optimistic justice will finally be served more than seven years after Wickrematunge was killed.

“The euphoria over the war victory in May 2009 saw the push for justice for Wickrematunge’s killing taking a back seat. However the new government which took office following elections last year has shown the political will to investigate incidents like that of Wickrematunge’s killing so there is hope the investigation will move forward,” he said.

An army intelligence officer has already been arrested and is being questioned over the incident while a former top police officer was also questioned. (Colombo Gazette)

By Easwaran Rutnam


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