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Lasantha Wickrematunge: The man who changed Sri Lankan journalism

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Hello Friends

It is six months since the fearless editor of “The Sunday Leader” was brutally assassinated in broad daylight.Lasantha Manilal Wickrematunge was murdered in cold blood at Ratmalana by a killer squad of eight riding four motor cycles. He was driving alone to work on that fateful January 8th.

lasantha wickremetunga's funeral

Six months have passed and the Police are yet to progress in their so called investigation into the killing. The only “suspect” netted by them is the man who misappropriated Lasantha’s cellular phone.

Lassie Boy as I called him was one of the bravest journalists I ever knew. It was he who single-handedly changed the nature of Journalism in Sri Lanka. Lassie belonged to that dwindling tribe of scribes who believed in speaking truth to power.

His death or the way in which he was killed has brought about a great void in Sri Lankan journalism. Yet “the Sunday Leader” follows the path chartered by Lassie “unbowed and unafraid”.

The staff remains loyal to his principles and memory and continues amid very difficult circumstances. Lasantha’s brother Lal is now the managing Editor while Frederica Jansz (another gutty journalist) has taken over as Editor.

In a bid to pay homage to his memory six months after his death I am posting on this blog an insightful, moving tribute to Lasantha Wickrematunge by a close friend of Lasantha.

Here is the tribute to Lassie Boy – DBSJ

I can be reached on dbsjeyaraj@yahoo.com

Kids Holding Signs

The man who changed Sri Lankan journalism

by a close friend of Lasantha

Lasantha Wickrematunge often referred to the well-known warning of German pastor Martin Nimoeller-who fell victim to Nazi forces-on the consequences of inaction and passivity in the face of fascist terror.

The tragic irony behind Lasantha Wickrematunge’s foul murder is that unlike Nimoeller, he from the very beginning spoke out for one and all who were victims of the forces of fascism and all forms of terrorism. In the 1980s, some Sinhalese (JVPers) were being hunted by pro-government vigilantes, he wrote about them and earned the ire of an all-powerful personality at that time who promised him to be ‘garlanded with a necklace of burning tyres.’

He had to flee the country at that time but came back soon. He consistently stood up for ethnic and religious minorities who were victims of the war on terrorism. That was a cardinal sin in the eyes of many. He exposed bribery and corruption, nepotism, racketeering, gangsterism in all its forms, bureaucratic lethargy and corruption under which the public suffered and even judicial misdemeanours.

For one such reason or more he was cruelly gunned down on the Attidiya highway, less than a kilometre from his beloved newspaper offices of The Leader. That was the supreme sacrifice he made for independent journalism, for freedom of expression and above all the right of the people to know and say about events going on in society.

Many are those who disagreed with his views, some with great emotion. Even in his last week on Earth he and his organisation were roundly abused. But he was a man who could give what he took. That is the essence of a good journalist. He had the courage of conviction to stand by and sponsor unpopular causes, even though it would have been detrimental to the interests of The Leader publications and also in the face of dire threats to his life and limb.

Some people understood this principle of democratic journalism. Karu Jayasuriya expressed this view on the day of Wickrematunge’s demise: ‘He was severely critical of me on many occasions and so was I of him. But he was a good and brave journalist,’ Jayasuriya said. But such democratic politicians are hard to find.

The manner in which he was disposed of from life and the political scene leaves no doubt some forces wanted him permanently out of the political picture. Lasantha Wickrematunge created a new variety of Sri Lankan journalism. This was investigative journalism of a variety that left no stone unturned. This was not the kind of mild bottom pinching the so-called sophisticated journalism that some English language newspapers indulged in. It was straight, hard punching from the shoulder in the Sunday and Wednesday publications.

The bold, hard headlines in black and white-at times spread across two opposite pages-told the whole story. Not for him those coloured boxes with techni-coloured headlines that said little or nothing. In the 15 years of publication of The Leader he brought a new dimension to Sri Lankan journalism. Wickrematunge in effect became a one-man opposition to government. He warned the public of the possibility of an impending dictatorship and the need of an unfettered media to prevent such moves.

His death leaves a big void hard to fill. It is all the more regrettable because it comes at a time when other newspapers and electronic media which earlier had been impartial and independent in their news coverage have commenced singing from the same hymn sheet as the state media. The panegyrics published today about the ‘great men now in power’ and those of their favoured dead will leave a sensitive reader or viewer nauseated.

Wickrematunge, quite often was able to show that our modern day emperors often had no clothes, while having feet of clay. That is all the more important to generations growing up to be stimulated into independent thinking about their leaders, people and the country.

With English effectively removed from the school curriculum about 40 years ago, children have been fed on a diet of state propaganda all the while. The effect of Wickrematunge’s daring journalism was to make people and the children think for themselves and not be zombies praising the powers that be at any given moment.

Our education system has been mentally crippled to such an extent the children’s process of thinking has suffered. Those of earlier generations blessed to be taught in the English medium were told of thoughts of great thinkers and philosophers like Rene Descartes like: ‘Cogito ergo sum’-I think therefore I am.

Are today’s children taught that if they cease to think, they will cease to exist as individuals? Are they taught that if two people agree on everything, then only one person is doing the thinking? Lasantha Wickrematunge did not preach philosophy in his newspapers. But he did try to convey to the people that what was being drilled into their minds by state radio, TV and the pro-government press had quite a lot of hogwash that could be fatal to the nation in the long run.

He exposed ‘saviours of the nation’ as pious frauds; newly arrived messiahs in various fields as absolute fakes; exposed bribery and corruption at all levels; and the duping of the poor by conmen.

Wickrematunge’s assassination came just 48 hours after the attack on the MTV central transmitting station by another gang of unidentified goons. At the time of writing these comments there have been no reports of any of the offenders being questioned or arrested. The world awaits to see the outcome of investigations into the dastardly, cold blooded killing. Killing and bashing journalists have become a popular sport in Sri Lanka. We have lost count of the many incidents of journalists that have been subjected to and even killed in the north in recent times.

The journalist world has been shocked and aghast at the killing of Sivaram, the internationally known Tamil journalist, the abduction and brutal attack on Keith Noyahr, Deputy Editor of The Nation and now the outrageous killing of Lasantha Wickrematunge. Earlier attempts were made once again by an unidentified gang to set ablaze the press of Leader Publications.

Are the Sri Lanka Police and other security establishments impotent in tracing down the perpetrators of these crimes? Can a respectable democratic government under any circumstance plead to impotence to bring these criminals to justice? What confidence will any independent journalist have in investigating any offence or crime if there is a likelihood of armed goons shadowing them?

Expressions of sadness, claims of friendship and other excuses such as attempts by anti government forces to divert attention from the military victories of the government will not even convince the faithful of the Rajapakse government. Both Wickrematunge and MTV came under virulent attack by government propaganda organs from their coverage and comments on the military offensives in the north, although no unfavourable references were made, at least by Wickrematunge or his publication, on such offensives.

Government leaders and propagandists have the right to make such criticism even though they were wrong in their assumptions but the virulence of the attacks and the attributed motives place these accusations in another dimension. No responsible democratic government can get away with assurances of intensive investigations and justice being done in the future with no tangible results forthcoming.

The many instances of journalists being bashed and the failure to bring criminals to book make the government spokespersons jokers.

Lasantha Wickrematunge in death has also placed a challenge on his journalist colleagues. What action will they take not only to see that justice will be done but that the same tragedy will not happen to one of them? Stirring resolutions calling upon the government to take action and fiery rhetoric in public places such as roundabouts are not enough. The people will want to avenge Lasantha Wickrematunge-a man who went through hell and high water to safeguard the freedom of expression of the Sri Lankan people.

Posters For Lasantha

pictures by: Indi.ca

Related post Apr 2009: Remembering “Lassie Boy” on his 51st birthday

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91 Comments

  1. Rohan;
    thank you for that. I am a family freind of the Wickrematinge’s. On the day his brother Lal went to America to buy the Printing Press, he dropped in to see me as I was on Holidays in Colombo. Not having their foresight I kidded Lal about his latest venture. What a service they provided to the honest citizens of SL.
    What comment I make is not as a family freind, rather as a concerned former citizen of SL.
    I do not anticipate any progress on Lasantha’s murder. The evidence is buried too deep. The recent extra judicial killings of “criminals”; makes me believe that those who pulled the trigger are being systematically eliminated by those who gave the order. Many would agree on this.
    I hope for the sake of the nation that Lasantha has not died in vain. Even if those responsible are never brought to open court, my prayer is that they will suffer the same fate for all to see.
    First the Bandaranaike’s now the Rajapakse’s is there any hope for that nation.? It took fifty years to neutralise the Banda’s, how long for the Rajapakse’s ?. At least the Banda Clan did not have 70% of the economy in their Pockets.? Is the land cursed to suffer like this for all time.
    Permit me a slight shift in focus: is the Demining the cause of delay to release the “Illegally Detained Persons”?. An article in the Daily Noise a few months ago stated that the Military advance was slow because the mine clearing was under way. Now that the advance has been concluded; surely the MOD knows enough to demarcate and warn people of the danger areas?. There is a clearing operation in progress I am sure. Burying and clearing the Killing Fields of SL more likely?
    With love for a Lost Paradise.
    Rest in Peace Lasantha.

  2. This comment is to the people who still live and make a living by “media”…

    Please don’t kill others… even by pen .. to my understanding the “truth” is not a absolute thing…

    So Media and press is not GOD or journalists rights also must have a limits… being against becoming the popular and easy way to make a living of sri lankan journalists.. and if so if u face the returns …

  3. A great Sri Lankan hero who spoke as a Sri Lankan. Not as a Singhalese, Tamil or Muslim. That is very rare in a nation that only divides in ethnic lines.

    Long live Lasantha. You will never be forgotten along with Richard De Soyza!!.

  4. Your choice of the picture with an all female, 7/8 trousered type, in the frontline holding banners with very appropriate facial expressions is truly a tribute for Lassie Boy .

  5. This guy had so many enemies, and someone took him off.

    But why everyone points their fingers towards the government?

  6. Hi DBS,

    It’s not a civiliced thing to berate the dead, but let me say something about journalism a.k.a Lasantha style.

    If you believe Lasantha to be bold, unafraid and unbowed I agree. If you say he cultivated ‘investigative journalism’ in a new way I too agree to some extent. That was the Lasantha you associated before he started the Leader in 1995.

    But if all who praise him say that he was independent, balanced minded, I will not buy that !

    I sincerely believe young aspiring journalists will only take the plus side of Lasantha ie Determination and the way he chased behind facts to build up a story. Apart from that, all his qualities as the so called journalist of the century is not a good material for anyone to emulate.

    Channa, sorry but I had to EDIT out some parts in this post. I know you will understand…..DBSJ

  7. ÐrÀgÒnHèÀrT,

    You’re an idiot. You can’t even make a sentence but you want to talk about truth?

  8. #5 ÐrÀgÒnHèÀrT

    The truth may not be ‘absolute’, but without the various versions of the truth being exposed to public scutiny we’ll be in the dark forever. The courageous professionalism of journalists like Lasantha is essential in order to light up the truth for all to see. We need this now more than ever. I sincerely hope the Sunday Leader continues his good work unhindered.

  9. All I want is freedom of speech
    Is that too much to ask
    All I want is freedom of speech
    To stand up against in justice
    All I want is freedom of speech
    To take away all the tears and the pain
    All I want is freedom of speech
    To express others suffering
    All I want is freedom of speech
    To make all my fears go away
    All I want is freedom of speech
    In my own and beautifull country

  10. The men who killed Lasantha must be more elusive and powerful than even Prabhakaran. The SL Gov could track down VP in the maze of jungles in Mullaithivu, but six months down, they allegedly don’t have a clue as to where the men who killed Lasantha are. And that too, after they killed him in broad daylight in Colombo. Perhaps Prabhakaran would have had better luck operating in Colombo and performing his activities in broad daylight. One has to wonder at the utter stupidity of the SL Gov when it makes such claims that it has no idea where those who killed Lasantha are. Does it really think that it is fooling the world with such rank stupidity?

    There’s a saying:

    “Stupidity shines brighter than even Truth, because while the Truth may sometimes be clouded by intelligent lies, Stupidity not only bares the Truth in all its glory, it adds the extra shine so that even the most adamant of doubters get bathed in the light of Truth.”

    The SL Gov’s stand on Lasantha and other numerous cases, such as the Doctors in the Vanni prove this saying to the tee. The added shine of the 2 months in detention and then a parade to the media to speak the so-called “truth” only makes the Truth brighter.

  11. Raine Wickrematunga, Lasantha’s founding partner, wife and the mother of his three children worked tirelessly for Sunday Leader . I know about her charities which even Lasantha did not know.

    As we were walking down Borella Junction she once said me that she used to open the Lakspray packet and give to beggars so they won’t sell them instead of giving it to their kids.

    She is a versatile, talented and kind journalist who kept the whole staff together and entertained them as a family in her home.

    I know Raine’s wounds of having lost her partner and father of her children in this tragic manner would take years to heal.

    We had so many beautiful and fun-filled times for the three founding years I worked therre.

    Pearl Thevanayagam

  12. Lasantha would have made a great difference for the better-in the lives of everyone being held ‘hostage’ now, by Rajapaksa bros.

    The world would have known much more about what is actually going on in Sri Lanka.

    That is why he was eliminated, afraid of his pen. They were confident about beating LTTE guns but not so towards Lasantha’s pen.

    May Lasantha’s soul rest in peace, my deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

  13. Ariya # 8, It is the ‘democratic’ government’s duty to protect its citizens.

    In the garrisoned city of Colombo, are you saying others are roaming with guns and hatchets; no wonder you admit barbarism is present in Colombo amidst a few angels.

  14. Lasantha paid with his life for his outstadning courage in exposing charlatans.

    Media in Sri Lanka is currently held for ransom by the ideologies of a very insecure government comprising three brothers and their sycophants pandering to Sinhala nationalism the likes of which Sri Lanka had never known.

    The media is undergoing tremendous challenges all over the world and particlularly developing countries. emocracy is exploited for capitalism and dissent is increasingly being frowned upon.

    Undemocratic measures such as extra-judicial killings, imposition of media laws to handcuff independent journalism and abductions, intimidations, arrests and threats have become the norm of the day.

    There is an urgent need for media across the developing world to join hands possibly with Western powers to impose economic sanctions on countries which impede media freedom.

  15. Lately, journalists the world over have become one of the most corrupted practitioners of their profession. One should not forget, that they are in it to earn their bread and butter like any other worker. The freedom of expression doesn’t give anyone the licence to say anything. The freedom of Expression should be used with utmost responsibility, specially by journalists.

    Responsible journalists take much time to investigate an issue and present it.

    Though I fully condemn his killing, I’ve no respect for Lassantha’s journalism.

    Some parts were EDITED out in this post…………DBSJ

  16. Truth is always absolute – despite the efforts made by crooks who want to make it relative. Truth is fact, and fact cannot be relative. People’s enterpretation can be relative, but interpretation is not truth, which is why it is even harder to find. Everyone has an opinion, but how many know the facts, leave alone the whole fact (entire picture)?

    In the end, all we can do is put pieces of facts together and try to create a possible sequence of events that is closest to the whole truth.

    It is the media’s responsibility to do the work necessary to collect the pieces and then put them together. In today’s Lanka, no one cares about the truth, because all they care about is the victory over the LTTE. And whatever it takes to be victorious, even if it takes burying the truth, we will go for it. And now that M. Rajapakse has the perceived mandate of the people, why not bury the truth even more! Why else would the Govt drag its feet over the journalists’ welfare?

    But, please don’t say Truth is relative. Truth is always absolute – just the perception is relative.

  17. How long will people mourn his passing away?

    His children will love him as a father and not a journalist. To say his death was in vain – yes. So was the deaths of all those intelligence officers he exposed with names in print.

    To all the living journalists – We are all equal in our contribution to society. be it doctors, barbers or journalists. None of us have the right to hurt others through our vocation. Your personal views must be printed in the appropriate forums. If you are larger than life personality – such as editors, bishops and leaders of organisations then what you speak and write also represent the opinion of those who you represent. At that time you have a duty to be mindful of your tongue and in this case your pen or ink.

    Dilshan, Sorry but I EDITED out some parts from your comment. You will understand why……DBSJ

  18. Most of these cases were created I would say………………………….
    BUT we have NOT done anything against journalist even when they attack us-Percy.
    When finally I am killed,it will be the government that kills me-Lasantha.
    Truth is mighty and will prevail.There is nothing the matter with this,except that it ain’t so-Mark Twain.
    Cheers,
    Siva.

  19. Sri lankan government is scared of its own shadow.
    No media freedom means -NO reconciliation,NO human rights, NO prosperity.

  20. When anyone ask about Lasantha, they aquestion back asking, who is Lasantha? When somebody talk about Lasantha, they says he was a my good friend and sometimes in the morning he comes to see me and all! But when ever somebody talk about his courageous way of writing, they says he is UNP or he was a politician………! Hey man …why did you kill him? You have to pay the pricein someday. You should remember one thing, dead Richard de Soyza is much more powerful and influential than living! (You can see by looking at why UNP is still in opposition.)

  21. >1. Zeeniya | July 8th, 2009 at 11:15 pm
    After Lasantha killing journalism in Lanka lost its punch

    No, i has lost its punch long before his death.

    However, he was one of the bravest !

  22. >>8. Ariya | July 9th, 2009 at 7:20 am
    This guy had so many enemies, and someone took him off.
    >But why everyone points their fingers towards the government?

    BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT KILLED HIM. FULL STOP.

  23. I’m glad dbs posted this tribute.

    Was it not a dark day for Srilanka when one of powerful person asked back a journalist WHO IS LASANTHA ? Karma and Dharma will find it balance one day in SL & sooner.

  24. I am one of his many readers
    I did not know Lasantha
    I did not know if he was married
    I did not if he had children
    I did not know where he resided
    I know Lasantha
    I know he represented the oppressed
    I know he fought to bring out corruption
    I know he fought for justice
    And I know he was killed because of it.
    There was a time I would have been happy to know that we had a good chance of eliminating the LTTE and ushering in a durable peace. But now, I fear the fall of the LTTE would only make these monsters more greedy and more arrogant, in the name of eliminating terrorism in one part of the country create an equally formidable form of terrorism in the rest of the country. Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of justice.
    Its sad that a country that promises so much, be reduced to a sham run by mafia style goons without any regard for its citizens. Its a tribute to Lasantha character that he choose to stay and fight and represent all those of us who were too scared or didnt have the means to voice our concerns.
    Every time I read an article on Lasantha or see a poster of him on the wall I feel a sense of loss not just for myself but for all Srilanka. And I can only hope that while the bullet might have cut short his live, what he believed in and ultimately died for would live on. There could be no greater tribute we could pay him.

  25. Sri Lanka’s only true opposition is being championed by its journalist. They are laying their lives to protect our democracy for us and the next generation. The heroes are numerous and it includes the likes of Lasantha, Richard De Soyza, J.S Thissanayagam and many more. Even Barrak Obama mentioned about J.S Thissanayagam. But what have we Sri Lankans done ? Nothing!! instead brand him as a LTTE supporter.

    Ranil on the other hand is a blessing for Rajapakse. I think he is MR’s brother isnt he ?. What a waste of time this guy is. If he was a true opposition leader today this country wont be in such a bad state. Total waste of time and space.

  26. Lasantha, you are a true hero who fought the battle with pen, you have been a great assette to our mother lanka which power hungers and highly corrupted set of people in the higher authority taken away. Your immeasurable value will realize by those who have killed you today, only when they do not have power. Dear Lassi weldone good and faithful servant!!

  27. The men who killed Lasantha must be more elusive and powerful than even Prabhakaran, says Rajah!

    Didn’t I say that your sun god was a coward, Rajah?

    You gave money to this Prabakaran, didn’t you, Rajah? And you are as responsible for the deaths of Tamil youth, aren’t you, Rajah?

  28. #18: Bandara:

    > The freedom of expression doesn’t give
    > anyone the licence to say anything

    Yes, it does. The only place no one is given the right to say anything is Sri Lanka! May be in a few other places like Sudan, Somalia and Zimbabwe too, but Sri Lanka is turning into those countries faster than you can blink.

    Everyone born and breathing has a right to say anything – it is up to you to accept it or reject it. When will the morons learn that just because they don’t agree with someone they don’t have the right to kill him?

    Bandara, did anyone give you the right to kill? By claiming people don’t have a right to say anything they want, you are advocating the silencing of them by killing them. And who gives you that right?

    Clear your heads, folks. It is for freedom that half the world is struggling, and yet, the other half is perfectly happy in keeping the first half down; silence them by all means possible, send your own kids the best of schools (to free nations, if possible), have a drink at the end of the day, rub shoulders with the rich and famous, and spread the word that our country is a “free country” and that everyone is living in peace.

    How long the pretense, my friend? How long?

  29. to comment 8 ariya

    ariya you must be the only one in srilanka who thinks gotapaiya did not do it. he is a soldier. for him it is just one more enemy down. killing is no big deal for a soldier. he is trained to be a killing machine.his conscience will be clear that he did it to protect the country.

  30. Hello Sapumal.
    You just hit the nail on the head.Who killed Richard?We may never know.But we all know the guy who exploited the grief of Dr.Saravanamuttu to introduce himself as a Human Rights activist. Unfortunately under this guy’s watch,Sivaram who identified Richard’s body ,and Lasantha were killed.
    Yes,one day they have to pay a very big price for these crimes.
    Cheers,Siva.

  31. Dear Panadurapakshaya,

    Its people like you who give journalism a bad name. You dont even know the meaning of the word ‘expression’.

    ‘The manner in which one expresses oneself, especially in speaking, depicting, or performing.’

    Freedom of expression does NOT entail freedom or printing falsehoods. slander and causing hurt.
    Find the difference!

  32. #15. Dexter:

    … everyone being held ‘hostage’ now, by Rajapaksa bros.

    WOW, really? Pardon me, but do we not owe it to “Rajapaksa bros” for giving us the freedom to get on with our day to day lives without getting blown into bits by the LTTE?

    The world would have known much more about what is actually going on in Sri Lanka.

    Which world are you talking about? The world of Clintons, Bruice Feins, David Milbands, Kouchers, Brad Adams and the like? And what is it thats actually going on in Sri Lanka that the world doesn’t seem to know about?

  33. #32 Thank you. One more to add.
    Right to life and liberty are natural rights of any human, born on this universe. .

  34. #35: Dilshan

    listen to yourself! If falsehood is his bread and butter, why do you think people took him seriously? People say and write all sorts of nonsense – do you take them seriously? Yes, I know he is not just any man on the street, but even a journalist does not survive his newspaper if falsehood is what he wrote. The readership would be so poor, he would have to fold the newspaper.

    And your quote of the definition of the word expression has no bearing on what is being discussed. It’s not expression we have a problem with – it’s the freedom of expression. Writing is very much within depicting and nothing in the definition excludes the written form.

    Let the market decide what it wants. Who is Govt to tell what people should write? Oh, I forgot, we are now completing with Burma and Zimbabwe..so may be the Govt. has the right to shut people up.

  35. # 37 Navin

    What is it thats actually going on in Sri Lanka that the world doesn’t know about ? Interesting poser.

    There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That means there are things we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.

    One can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but one cannot fool all the people all of the time.

  36. I can see a covert Sinhala / Tamil battle emerging in the comments. All who are against the government of Sri Lanka are mourning for Lasantha suddenly.

    So many people were killed in the past decade from academics to idiots, from virtuous to sinners, from terrorists to terrorized.

    No one seem to be so important as Lasantha.
    Lasantha is important than Premadasa, Pirabaharan, Kadirgamar or Wijeweera; they all seem nothing in front of Lasantha; SURPRISING!!.

    Is this the truth or is it just another media ABSTRACTION

  37. 34. shankar | July 10th, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    to comment 8 ariya

    Shankar, this is a secondary matter, for there seems no other thing to talk about now. Prabakaran is gone to hell, and LTTE is finished, kaputt! You guys stay out there in your foreign countries. You may dream about Prabakaran every night, but nothing would happen. The bullet that went through Prabakaran’s head didn’t seem to find any brains, but empty space with only hatred!

    You see, Shankar, he did something even worse for you overseas Tamils, he took your mind away too!

    Can you put your hand on your heart and tell the world that you didn’t give a broken penny to the LTTE? Can you?

    There are cunning guys like Solheim, who said this mass murderer was a ‘genius’, and maybe he is right, and only in one thing, he enslaved you guys, and if you don’t go to your Kovils, your Churches, you’d be his slaves all you life! Your children would learn to look after their lives, I hope, without your burdens!

    Would this thought ever cross your minds; that Prabakaran incited the ’83 riots?! He must have liked Goebbels and learnt a lot from that guy!

    Once there is nothing to say about Prabakaran and his LTTE, there is nothing you overseas Tamils have to say!

  38. 38. Fran | July 10th, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    #32 Thank you. One more to add.
    Right to life and liberty are natural rights of any human, born on this universe. .
    ———————–

    You should’ve demanded that from Prabakaran!
    How many Tamil youth he killed!
    And what a liar he was!
    Black suicide cadre is saying today that they had never met Prabakaran, and what about the ‘last meal’?

  39. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    >32. Ariya | July 10th, 2009 at 9:20 am

    >Didn’t I say that your sun god was a coward, Rajah?

    Probably he is. BTW this side ‘sun god’, and the other side ‘King’ (and Rajuh wamsuh)!!

    However, the ‘clan; that rules Lanka is cowarder. They do not even come near the battlefield. They send poor young Sinhalese to the battle front. Excuse me sir, do I see some patterns both sides?

    >You gave money to this Prabakaran, didn’t you, Rajah? And you are as responsible for the deaths of Tamil youth, aren’t you, Rajah?

    So, it goes like this. We give money to Praba; And because of that someone gave you the ‘licence’ to commit genocide on Tamils. So, you commit genocide and we are responsible. Yes sir, you must be one of the most intelligent person Sri Lanka ever produced

  40. Lasantha may be a great journalist, but he made a wrong decision when he opened his mouth and bagged our
    beloved Sri Lanka on the BBC when Tsunami hit our shores.

    He said on the BBC for the whole world to hear that there is
    raping and looting going on and that the aid sent by the donors was played out by the corrupt officials. I was overseas at that time and we were flabbergasted to hear him saying all these and everyone was really dissapointed with him

    I don’t believe that he deserved to die the way he did.

    Can anyone tell me whether he was patriotic.?.

    Bye for now.

    Are you saying Lasantha should not have stated the truth about actual situation to bBC?……DBSJ

  41. #Panadurapakshaya,

    The more freedom there is, the more one has to be responsible in using it.

    Freedom when used with concern to others will not harm anyone.

    Otherwise its the freedom of the Wild Ass!

  42. If not properly groomed or prepared those who assume or occupy positions of leadership and power tend to be averse, indeed extremely averse, to criticism, justified or not. In true democracies the law of the land protects freedom of expression as long as violence is not advocated or one’s reputation is tarnished without proof. Case in point, during the 2004 USA presidential election a popular network came up with a story questioning Bush’s military service record. It was proven to be false and fabricated. Nothing really happened to anyone. Ok, the program producer was fired by the network but ended up getting a much better paying job. In the USA nothing ever happened to all the critics of the Iraq war. The problem with the establishment and the ruling class/clan in Sri Lanka is that they are still stuck in the colonial mentality. As is evident from their actions, reactions and, indeed interviews, they lack the intellectual sophistication and political finesse to counter criticism through the power of reasoned and persuasive argument. Physical violence seems to be their easy way out.

    May the illustrious life of brave Lasantha inspire future generations of journalists in Sri Lanka and around the world.

  43. “Lasantha was an LTTE terrorist… let’s move on.. oh wait, he was singalese, it may have worked if he was a tamil. hmm….I’ve to come up with a better excuse.”

  44. Well Lasantha was brave i’m not gonna argue with that but i think when the sunday leader was under him it was just a example of very bad journalism.

    U’ll understand wht i’m saying if u compare the Sunday leader now then.
    Back then they didnt even use the word “allegedly”.

    EDITED

    opposition should be there but it should not coome out as half truths.

  45. reply to Ariyn #43

    When I said ” Natural rights”( life and liberty) mean that we are born with it irregardless of our “tribes” ( tamils, sinhalese, muslims…etc)
    When tamils reminded this to tiger leadership, the rights were violated mercilessly. I will encourage you to read the prophetic words of Dr. Niranjini Thirunagama(UTHR J) who was gunned down by LTTE, late 1980.
    when a very government elected by the governed which is supposed to protect the natural rights of the people violated it, then it has a far reaching consequence.
    Long and short of it, JVP,LTTE and the likes of rebellious children of Sri lanka are product of Srilankan rulers since independence who failed in the nation building based on natural rights of life and liberty.
    We will not be having this conversation if the nation is secular and egalitarian, won’t we.
    Well, we in a bloody mess, thanks to the leaders since 1948 and the leeches( whoever hat fits) who supported them.
    Aryan, as a small step for the sake of our children and their future, we will first get out of our “tribal box” and see the world as the “peoples”.

  46. The writer seems to put the blame for all the so called evils that exists in SriLankan poltiics , and the Government on the abolition of English in schools.Also he implies that the Sinhala education does not produce smart people.
    He must reailze that the Sinhala people in Srilanka mainly the Buddhists from rural areas who are in good positions in the public sector now , are the result of a Sinhala education.
    The baby boomers know what the situation was up to early seventies.Sinhala education in fact was a revolution by which the Sinhala people were helped to achieve their legitimate share of the influence in the administration of the Country.
    From what I have read in recent times about the deceased,he was a brave person to bag anyone and everyone who he thought was fair game.Countries like SriLanka are not sophisticated enough to have that sort of journalism.The mere fact that SriLanka has been a democratic country alone is a big acheiment, considering the the poverty and the gulf between the rich and the poor.
    .

  47. comment 43 ariya

    ariya, you are contradicting yourself. in last article from DBS about menik farm you said that prabaharan , polpot and hitler should not be talked about ,not even on the internet.
    you seem to be infatuated by him. shall we move on.

  48. to comment 42 ariya

    my comment 34 is about lasantha and gotapaiya and has nothing to do with prabaharan so dont start blabbering like a woman who has had wet dreams.
    as i mentioned earlier you are infatuated by that monster. people like you are the ones who made him into a cult personality and he shrewdly capitalised on that.
    i can proudly say i have not contributed a penny to the ltte. i am a patriotic srilankan, but sinhala racists like you will find it difficult to understand that tamils too love their country.that is because people like you think that the country belongs to the sinhalese only and tamils can stay as long as they are well behaved guests. you keep on talking about a dead issue prabaharan because your conscience is twitching because people like you created him in the first place.

  49. I have tried to read his news.. for me his news paper is like “SUN” in UK.

    EDITED
    However.. I am saddend by his death. I hope we will see the perpotraters brought to justice.
    PS: terrble spelling.. I know.. Can’t care less!!

  50. It seems that a record breaking number of resopnses here had to be edited or censored. (Much more than in any other post) I think this indicated soemthing. While alot admired him for his courage, I am thinking a lot of people also had a lot of criticism about him too. (I am guessing probably about his personal life)

    About what 45. Nissanka said and the response…
    This is my personaly dilemma also about ‘so called international journalism’. I think an honest and patriotic journalist would think twice about what is best to say to an international media and what is to be said in the local media. I know a lot of people will start criticising me now for saying this…

    A journalist has the power in him to do a lot. Well, why not use it to the good of the country? Why not say positive things?
    Just taking this example,
    I am just trying to understand, what good benefit will Sri Lanka get by a statement given to BBC about rape & looting? Will BBC come to stop them? They will just repeatedly broadcast it as breaking news so that they have something sensational to cover airtime for a few days. More than anything, it will result with a lot of people assuming Sri lanka is an Island of sex maniacs waiting for an opportunity. (Especially with a general statement from a journalist without any statistics to suppoprt it. Can do a lot of harm)

    I think professional journalism is all about saying the truth as well as know which truth to say when? One of our local media companies say “we report. you decide” But I always ask but WHO decides what to report?

    DBSJ RESPONDS: There was nothing wrong in Lasantha speaking out to the BBC about post – tsunami matters. “patriotism” is not determined by one talking or not talking to the BBC .Speaking of Tsunami I recall an investigative piece in “The Sunday Leader” about how Mahinda Rajapakse misappropriated Tsunami funds allocated for “Helping Hambantota” project. After the article the misappropriated money was returned .

    In another Country such politicians would be shunned by voters and newspapers exposing corruption praised. But in Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapakse became President while the Sunday Leader Editor was killed.

    Lots of “commentators” have been criticising or trying to criticise Lassie for the way he ran his paper. But can anyone dispute the corruption he uncovered? Why are the corrupt ones in power and being praised as patriots while the man who exposed them and paid the supreme price is being defamed after being murdered?

    Look at the massive intimidation campaign being unleashed on the Leader even after assassinating Lasantha? Why? Who made money out of the sordid scandal exposed by Lasantha?

    And the question here is about Lasanthas assassination and lack of investigation in the matter. Those who talk about journalist ethics must also answer the question about his murder

    Are you justifying his murder on the grounds that his journalist ethics was allegedly at fault?

    Are you condoning this murder and the frontal attack on media freedom by a corrupt, nepotistic regime claiming to be patriotic?

    EXposing corruption by powerful people is patriotic and positive.This is what Lassie did and paid the price.

    He was assassinated physically. After that his killers and their fellow travellers are trying to assassinate his character.

    This is what the LTTE and their acolytes did earlier and this is what the Rajapakse regime and acolytes are trying to do now

  51. We are very thankful for the President & Gotobaya for irradicating LTTE terrorism. But we cannot forgive you two for killing Lasantha. Gotabaya, you did a great job for the country by destrying the enemy. Unfortunately you also killed unarmed Lasantha. Don’t put it as collateral damage. You have to pay for this crime.

  52. Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions.
    Zora Hurston.

    Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.
    Samuel Johnson.

    When a whole nation is roaring patriotism, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands an the purity of its heart. Ralph Emerson.

    The nation is divided, half patriots half traitors, and no man can tell which from which. Mark Twain.

    Men in authority will always think that criticism of their policies is dangerous. They will always equate their policies with patriotism, and find criticism subversive.
    Henry Commager.

    A man’s country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers, and woods, but it is a principle and patriotism is loyalty to that principle. George Curtis.

    Patriotism is a arbitrary veneration of real estate over principles. George Nathan.

    We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, the soul of the country dies with it.
    Edward Murrow.

    I will fight for my country, but i will not lie for it.
    Zora Hurston

    My country ! When right keep it right; when wrong, set it right. Carl Schurz.

  53. Dear Mr DBSJ,

    I think you are making serious but baseless allegations against the President of your own country
    .If these were published in some of the non third world countries,you will be made bankrupt or you will be incarcerated for a long time.
    Even in the so called first world countries you would have faced legal action or brought before authorities such as the Press Council to justify your claims.
    So how can you say SriLankan government is hard on journos?
    Mr Rajapaksa was a young MP when I was a poor teenager. He has been in Parlimant for nearly 40 years,
    During most of that period he was in the ruling party. If he is a corrupt person, he would have had ample opportunities to amass millions of dollars from commissions alone, on foreign deals
    .But I have never read in the media that he had Swiss accounts or other assets in foreign countries. As far as i know he did not even sent his kids to study overseas unlike most of the previous Parlimantarians past and present.
    .
    So it is hard to believe that he would pinch money that was sent as Tsunami aid. May be, he quarantined some of these funds for some valid reasons. But I never believe he had any intention of using these fund for him or his family’s benefit.

    When you accuse of nepotism, of course the President has to have people who are loyal to him. Who can be more loyal and trustworthy than your own siblings.He is blessed to have a bunch of brothers who are talented. The events over the last couple of years, have proved their skills and worth.

    In a recent interview to an Indian Daily, the President has mentioned that the deceased journalist had contacted him before he was shot.But the President could not get the call because he was in the prayer room.I don’t think a person can call up the President directly unless he or she has a very very special connection. Therefore again it does not stand to logic to say the President is responsible fo the death of such a special person.

    Waduge, I stand by all what I wrote. why is Mahinda not “catching” Lassie’s killers?………DBSJ

  54. tamilan-sydney, Rajah, Fran, Shankar, and everyone of of you who got yourself under British Queen somewhere, you are as responsible for the murder of you r own people – Tamils, and also responsible for every death since the mass murderer was living! Anyway, one day you will suffer too for all those atrocities, even if you change your religion many times. For everyone, who gave money to LTTE, I say go to hell and meet your sungod or whatever. You will all go to hell for what you had done, so read your religious books to find out how!

    Machang Ariya, You are one hell of a guy! You know all about Hell. How aney?………DBSJ

  55. Dear DBSJ:
    Thank you very much for the response. As ususal, your comments are to the point.
    Anyway, I DO strongly agree with you. The Leader and similar pulications MUST continue what they do and it IS patriotic. All Sri Lankans especially those who actually live there has the right to know what is going on and the Leader is admired for what they do. However, my concern is not about local Journalism. I agree with what Lasa did with Leader as a local newspaper. What I am saying is when it comes to international news agencies, I do not beleive they are genuine to anything other than their interests. All of us should be careful about it. Just because news is available does not mean it is OK to shout about it to the world. Afterall most of the time, our matters are about us isnt it?

    When a family has a problem, everyone in the family should know about it so that they can acto on it. But Do we need to go around telling the whole neighbourhood about it in vivid detail?

    This is my dilemma about international journalism. You would have noticed that international media reports very little about positive things and more and more about negative things. Psychological midnset of the human is a very strong weapon in any war. (be it political, economic or cultural)

  56. Oh, One more: You asked me two questions.

    Are you justifying his murder on the grounds that his journalist ethics was allegedly at fault?
    NO. Where did I say I am trying to Justify this?

    Are you condoning this murder and the frontal attack on media freedom by a corrupt, nepotistic regime claiming to be patriotic?
    NO. I do not think ANY murder should be condoned by anyone. The criminals should be caught and brought to justice.

    My question and comment is still valid. If you remember how the American media behaved in post 9/11 period you will know what I mean. Most world famous, respected journalists said I am American first and a journalist second.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    The conduct of the US media during the Iraq war is not the MODEL to follow.Just as the war against “terror” launched by the Bush – Cheney duo was the lowest point for US image as a democratic, human rights respecting regime the conduct of the mainstream US media including “world famous journalists” was the nadir for the media. “Managed” news and embedded journalists are some of the by-products of the US medias not so finest hour. As a result the US media lost credibility and respectability. The media is yet to restore its tarnished image.

    Now the media is trying to make amends by going after the out of power duo and cohorts.It has been proved that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Saddam’s possession the rationale for Bush – Blair going to war. To their eternal shame the US media giants went along in this exercise of mass deception. As a result the US people were lulled into false consciousness temporarily. But the bubble burst. Blair had to step down. Bush went out as the most unpopular president. The backlash brought Obama. Almost every poll in recent times says very few Americans trust the media. Journalists are in the least respected professions category.

    So dont hold up the US media in Iraq war as something worthy of emulation.

    There is NOTHING wrong in Lasantha or anyone speaking out to the BBC or any credible international media. The only problem will be if Sri Lanka is at WAR with some Country and a Lankan journalist speaks critically of Sri Lanka to the media of that Country

    If you really condemn Lasanthas murder and you want his killers to be brought to justice then you would have been vehemently critical of the killers and a regime that is yet to conduct a credible investigation on the occasion where six months have passed since his assassination.

    Instead you write critically of Lasantha ‘s alleged “offence” in speaking out about post – tsunami events to the BBC. Is this really an appropriate comment to post on an article like this? If you dont approve of Lasantha do you have to condemn him on this occasion? Is this really necessary?Do you really have to post a comment in poor taste? Has your comment and those of the same ilk condemning Lasanthas journalism raised the standard of comments for this particular blog?

    If you dont approve of a man for whose memory an alms giving is being held dont attend it. But why are you going to a commemorative event and slandering the dead man’s memory.

    You and all others who posted such comments here say we dont approve of the killing. But then you go on to attack and vilify Lasantha. You all remind me of the LTTE supportrs who begin by saying we dont approve of the killing but then the victim was also……………… And go on character assassinating the assassinated man.

    But then what can you expect from people hailing a corrupt regime as “patriotic” and the man who exposed such corruption as non – patriotic?

  57. I think it need to be said as this is a balanced constructive blog that we take part in, I don’t disagree with the fact there was a murder and justice has to be done. I want my country to uphold the law and do the right thing by our people. I am disapointed and outraged that there wasn’t any credible investigation carried out yet.

    On the same note if we talking about great jounalism.. I have to disagree. I read the papers.. So I think I can judge for myself about great jounalists. He wasn’t a great jounalist.. Just like Rohana.. ???? they only become the beacon of jounalism after the way they passed away. No disrespect to Lasantha, I am not judging him as a human being. I only expressed my openion of him as jounalist.
    If you prefer the sympathy and respect to a dead man I do have that for Lasantha. Journalism another matter. Just like I don’t have anything good to say about SWRD despite him being killed.

  58. My Dear DBSJ, this time you really have got the wires crossed.
    You are accusing me of a lot of things. Anyone carefully reading what I wrote will realise I did not say anything even close to what you accuse me of.

    This Tsunami+BBC+lasantha issue raised by someone else was only an example that I took to express a dilemma I had about Journalism. Where have I condemned Lasantha’sjournalism or any other journalism for that matter?

    I note your comments about the conduct of the US media. However, someone is yet to answer my question about how all this reporting by the international media benefits each individual country. Most of the time I feel they do a lot of unnecessary damage also. True that they can preassure governements etc to do the right thing. But they are also proxies of others in many ways.

    I am sorry if I hurt anybody’s feelings.

  59. Machang Ariya, You are one hell of a guy! You know all about Hell. How aney?………DBSJ

    Ok, DBSJ, would you come to SL and talk to the IDPs?

    Well, the sun god of the LTTE, finally went off without a brain, and without his family too, so I’m sure he knows what is hell.

    Why come to Lanka and ride the white van ? I talk to IDP’s very frequently from here no?……DBSJ

  60. Just today His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa is quoted in TIME, “He was a good friend of mine. He had informed somebody to inform me [that he was in danger]. But unfortunately, I didn’t get that message. I would have told him to go to the nearest police station. No one knows what happened.”

    But then again one of his trusted lieutenants revealed the truth publicly, in fact this President is making history on several fronts:

    “Lasantha from the Leader paper went overboard. I took care of him. Poddala agitated and his leg was broken. Now a fellow in my electorate is trying to stand against me. I now tell him in his own hometown, I will give him only seven more days. If he does not resign as chairman of the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha, don’t blame me later on. You’ll don’t find fault with me. If this fellow goes against what I say, I will send him to the place where I sent Lasantha,” Non-cabinet Labor Minister Mervyn Silva stated publicly at a meeting in Hunupitiya, Kelaniya.

    Silva had made this statement addressing a gathering at the Jayanthi Mahal Junction at the opening ceremony of a Sathosa outlet in Hunupitiya, Kelaniya on Thursday (9).

    A Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha member told Lanka News Web that the recorded versions of Silva’s speech have already been sent to the President and the SLFP general secretary. Silva while being critical of Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Prasanna Ranaweera and several other members has said he did not fear any one as long as President Mahinda Rajapakse was in power, as he could not be defeated by any force.

    A few days after the Minister made this statement; an unidentified armed group stormed into the house of the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman and attacked the house situated at Bandaranayake Mawatha, Kelaniya.

    The Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman addressing the media following the attack said, “Minister Mervyn Silva openly scolded me and six other Pradeshiya Sabha members on the 9th. He made threats saying he would do what needs to be done. We have the recordings with us.

    We have sent copies of the tape to the President and Minister Maithripala Sirisena. The attack carried out is a low act. My children are still in shock and my wife was admitted to hospital. The police cannot do justice as they are afraid of this politician. The President has to intervene to stop this thuggery.”

  61. DBS, Ref to Ronnie Waduge’s reply (59) Why the president is not catching Lasantha’s killers?
    Answer: Because the president’s brother Gotabhaya ordered the killing. (period)

  62. Mr DBSJ i dont think that many of us here are trying to protect the government and trying to character assasinate Mr Lasantha.i was just expressing my opinion of just how i see facts which i do not think constitute to character assasination.i dont think that there is any question as to what is right or wrong in killing a human being, it is just wrong and the government should be held responsible for the fact that no credible investigation was held which gives a suscpition that there was government duplicity.

    it is not a matter of death or living, a mans legacy is what is at stake here. So there were psitive aspects as well as negative aspects and my opinion is that pointing them out doesnt not indeed mean boasting or character assasination.

    P.S: This is Srilanka who ever comes to power is corrupt or is going to get corrupted so talking about that is useless and a waste of time.

    DBSJ RESPONDS;

    This is the latest on Lassies killing. A minister in Mahindas cabinet “kudu” mervyn has openly boasted about finishing off Lasantha. Here is the report –
    “Lasantha from the Leader paper went overboard. I took care of him. Poddala agitated and his leg was broken. Now a fellow in my electorate is trying to stand against me. I now tell him in his own hometown, I will give him only seven more days. If he does not resign as chairman of the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha, don’t blame me later on. You’ll don’t find fault with me. If this fellow goes against what I say, I will send him to the place where I sent Lasantha,” Non-cabinet Labor Minister Mervyn Silva stated publicly at a meeting in Hunupitiya, Kelaniya.

    Silva had made this statement addressing a gathering at the Jayanthi Mahal Junction at the opening ceremony of a Sathosa outlet in Hunupitiya, Kelaniya on Thursday (9).

    A Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha member told Lanka News Web that the recorded versions of Silva’s speech have already been sent to the President and the SLFP general secretary. Silva while being critical of Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Prasanna Ranaweera and several other members has said he did not fear any one as long as President Mahinda Rajapakse was in power, as he could not be defeated by any force.

    A few days after the Minister made this statement; an unidentified armed group stormed into the house of the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman and attacked the house situated at Bandaranayake Mawatha, Kelaniya.

    The Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman addressing the media following the attack said, “Minister Mervyn Silva openly scolded me and six other Pradeshiya Sabha members on the 9th. He made threats saying he would do what needs to be done. We have the recordings with us.

    We have sent copies of the tape to the President and Minister Maithripala Sirisena. The attack carried out is a low act. My children are still in shock and my wife was admitted to hospital. The police cannot do justice as they are afraid of this politician. The President has to intervene to stop this thuggery”

  63. What a country and people are we?We never will be able to develop or come out of this mess with fools! All gods bless our idiotic mentality!

  64. Who is patriotic and who is not, doesnt make in this brutal murder.AS Waduge says in his comment MR is god like figure for him.( Dont forget ,not for us) According to some comments patritic people in Sri Lanka are the people who support present regime and their actions.All others are enemies and must kill !

  65. when prabaharan acquired the air wing i said he might send a suicide aircraft into parliament, to which he replied “why would he do that. he is not going to do such a great service to the country.”

  66. i think mervyn has decided to sacrifice himself for gotapaiya. he feels he can get a lot out of the rajapakshes one day. who will come openly and talk like this. does he think srilankans are fools. as for comment 68 jayan gotapaiya ordering it i have my douphts. he would have said you all can do whatever you want. it is not my business. that would have been more than enogh because lasantha had made enemies in the military.

  67. >>61. duminda Kumarasiri | July 13th, 2009 at 1:47 am
    And he was killed by LTTE at the critical moment

    Oho oh oh oh oh ha ha haaa ha hah ha he he heee heee

    (Rolling on the floor laughing).

  68. I would love to here, if not in this post, somewhere else, a practical realistic way to get rid of people like MS.

    Shame on our govt to letting him live peacfully after admitting to such things…

  69. Now this man Mervin Silva has virtuallly admitted for Lanantha’s murder, inaction by the president indicates his approval of this crime. When one is having all the support for his “chintanaya”, by allowing a man like Mervin Silva to run amock, will certainly make MR’s government very unpopular among the inteligentia and people with common sense. (yes men, spineless SLFP henchmen & racists are not included). In my opinion, MR may be a smart politician but he is an upper case IDIOT to allow Silva to do these kind of acts.

  70. How can we, the citizens of Sri Lanka are going to keep our mouths shutt and waite while drug dealers like Mervin Silva have his own way, with the approval of Mahinda Rajapaksha. Can’t we do something about this, other than going to a temple and break coconuts? Please enlighten us, DBSJ.

  71. Just before the presidential election MR ran out of money for his election campaign. Then MS volunteered to help. Next day morning MS went to all the businesses in Pettah and collected Rs. 200,000 “kappan” from each biz. Totalling more than Rs. 8 million. This is one of the reason why MR is given MS a free hand to do whatever he wants, including murder.

  72. Talking of murderer Mervin Silva,
    Who received only two thousand votes,
    When he last contested.
    Analysing how he started,
    Ranil brought him to politics
    Chandrika nurtured him with her milk
    Mahinda entrusting him with dirty work.
    When I think about all this,
    Regret that Velu is dead.

  73. Mervin Silva is not civilized human bieng. He is an uneducated, maffia like person when he has a political backing.Otherwise he always try to act as a peoples friend to avoid enemies. However I will tell you one incident when he was a member of opposition in years back. Whenever he go to Kataragama he used to get money from kapuwas by using force.Sometimes 100,000, sometimes 50,000 or less directly from pooja watti. Unfortunately Kataragama Dewiyo or God Kataragama never punished this ugly maffia man! How can we expect MR to punish him at present? (Even Ranil didnt wanted to do that at that time too!)

  74. I say, this Mervin is a sweet chap. He knows how to preotect the country from hooligans. He knows very well that when people say things without taking into account how many Army cadres and politicians are being scorned by the public, and how many of us at whom tomatoes are thrown, those people who said those hurtful things should be taken care of. They should not be ignored like the West. So, Mervin is a very nice person, like a caretaker, just more so.

    Lassie, the last I heard, was the name of a dog in an American movie. So, I guess Lassie was Mervin’s pet, but when the pet starts doing some bad things such as saying some politician is trying to pay off another decent gentleman to go and make a dent on an opposition member’s legs, that should be perfectly acceptable, no?

    Aney, poor Mervin, why all these people are hurling abuse at you?

  75. Now that we have it from the horses mouth, it is the duty of the Police to arrest Mervyn Silva and bring him to justice. If they fail to do so it means that they, the IGP, the Defence Secreatry and President are complicit in the murder of Lasantha.

    People may not agree regarding Lasanthas work. It is difficult to expose corruption without hurting peoples feelings, but that cannot be an excuse for killing people. Justice has to be done. Since Mervyn Silva has now shot his mouth one time too many, he should now be brought to justice. Most likely that he was responsible for the Sirasa attack as well which was within the same time frame.

    It is surprising that a civilized country tolerates the likes of Mervyn Silva and his henchman Kudu Lal.

  76. When there is a senseless war which was dragging for nearly 30 years there will always be lot of losses. Lasantha is not special he was just another unfortunate victim for war like thousand of others who died in vain. As grown up people we all should know what is right and wrong. We all want a place to live peacefully����..

  77. DBSJ, Please remove that photograph of two small children on a pavement holding the photographs of Lassie Boy. Anybody with any brains will ask why you use children (who probably did/do not read the Sunday Leader or Irudina) to demonstrate in public on behalf of Lassie. UNICEF or the Sri Lanka Police (Child Abuse Unit) may knock on your door asking for statements! Grown up trousered women (of the type you find going up and down on the 112 Maharagama bus) as paid protesters is one thing but using little children may be child abuse. At least this is what Lassie may have said if the photos on parade happened to be MRs and not Lassies; don’t you think so?

  78. Such killings should be traced and those responsible must be brought ot trial. They too deserve to be shot dead.

  79. I would do anything to meet him or his childrean!
    He was a genius in both polatics and journalism and
    his bravery is outstanding.
    May he R.I.P

  80. We worship you L.W
    you are a God to journalists and patriots everywhere
    and you are so brave and courages

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