ECONOMYNEXT – The daughter of slain editor Lasantha Wickrematunge has petitioned the United Nations asking it to investigate his assassination 12 years ago Friday as a local police inquiry remains stalled.
Ahimsa Wickrematunge filed a complaint with the UN’s Human Right Committee alleging that the Sri Lankan authorities have failed to carry out a meaningful investigation and bring those responsible to justice.
This is the first time that the late Sunday Leader Chief Editor’s family has sought to invoke the “Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)”, a provision used by Sri Lanka’s police against suspects in recent times.
In her 29-page complaint, she urges the UN to monitor the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, particularly the treatment of journalists, including during the upcoming periodic review of the country at the UN Human Rights Council.
She has asked the UN panel to conduct an “exhaustive, independent, and effective investigation of the attacks against Lasantha, including prosecution of those responsible at all levels of Government.”
Attorney General Dappula de Livera in August had asked the police to expedite the Asanatha Wickrematunge case along with four other emblematic cases — the murders of 17 aid workers of French charity the ACF, the murder of Waseem Thajudeen, abduction of Journalist Keith Noyahr and the abduction and disappearance of 11 youth.
Ahimsa is also seeking “meaningful guarantees of non-repetition of conduct violating the Covenant, including ending the impunity for Sri Lanka’s past and ongoing human rights abuses.”
She is also seeking compensation for Sri Lanka’s breaches of the Covenant.
Former speaker Karu Jayasuriya was among a modest group of friends, relatives and well-wishers at Lasantha’s graveside at the General Cemetery Kanatte Friday to pay respects and light candles in his memory.
(COLOMBO, January 6, 2021)