FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION SRI LANKA

For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya

Govt ‘responsble’ to probe Lasantha murder


The responsibility of investigating the assassination of Sunday Leader editor lies with the Sri Lanka government, says an international media watchdog.

Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) says attacks on Namal Perera  and Upali Tennakoon appear to come from the same source.

CPJ Asia division’s Bob Dietz was reacting to ruling party MP Rajiva Wijesinha’s allegation that the British government did not provide details it had on the killing of Lasantha Wickrametunga.

The former secretary to the ministry of human rights told BBC Sandeshaya that the defence attaché at the British High Commission (BHC) in Colombo gave him a note that linked Gen Sarath Fonseka to the assassination.

Other ‘similar’ attacks

Prof Wijesinha also accuses the UK authorities of supporting Gen Fonseka at the January 2010 presidential polls.

I always assumed that it was someone associated with Sarath Sonseka or Gotabhaya Rajapaksa – two of the masterminds behind it

Bob Dietz, CPJ

But a spokesman at the BHC denied the accusation.

“I think the bigger question is why the investigation has been dragging on for so long,” Mr Dietz told BBC Sinhala service, Sandeshaya.

He insisted that it is the government’s responsibility to conduct a fair investigation to find out the culprits.

“I always assumed that it was someone associated with Sarath Sonseka or Gotabhaya Rajapaksa – two of the masterminds behind it,” said the CPJ’s Bob Dietz.

“Whether it is one or the other I honestly don’t know,” he said adding that it is the government’s responsibility to prove those assumptions is wrong.
BBC Sinhala

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