[QODLink]
Central & South Asia
Sri Lanka 'blocked murder inquiry'
Media watchdog accuses government of blocking investigation into killing of newspaper editor two years ago.
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2011 15:30 GMT
Lasantha Wickrematunge had been critical of the government's war against the Tamil Tigers [Reuters]

A media rights group has accused the Sri Lankan government of blocking an investigation into the killing of a newspaper editor two years ago, saying its indifference in solving the crime had made it an accomplice.

Reporters Without Borders, a Paris-based organisation, said Lasantha Wickrematunge's killers remained at large as of Saturday - the second anniversary of his death - and accused Sri Lanka's government of actively preventing the truth being exposed.

"Reporters Without Borders is appalled by the fact that the Sri Lankan government is doing nothing to solve this murder and in fact is clearly preventing the truth from coming to light," the group said in a statement.

"By blocking the investigation and by fostering a climate of impunity and indifference, the government has become an accomplice."

Wickrematunge, the editor of The Sunday Leader newspaper, was shot dead by motorcycle-riding assailants while driving to work on January 8, 2009.

Critical reporting

The paper had been critical of the government's conduct of the decades-long war against the now-defeated Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam, and reported on alleged human rights violations and government corruption.

Police said the case was still being investigated.

"It is not possible to make immediate conclusions in a planned killing like this, but we will conduct a systematic investigation and arrest the culprits," Prishantha Jayakody, a police spokesman, told The Associated Press news agency.

He pointed out that other legal systems around world sometimes take six to eight years to solve murders.

Reporters Without Borders said Wickrematunge's killing had dealt a major blow to media freedom in Sri Lanka.

The rights group has said 25 journalists were killed in Sri Lanka over the past 10 years. Some have been abducted and remain missing, while others have fled the country after being beaten up or threatened.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
President Poroshenko arrives in Washington on Thursday with money and military aid on his mind, analysts say.
Early players in private medicine often focused on volume over quality, turning many Chinese off for-profit care.
Al Jazeera asked people across Scotland what they think about the prospect of splitting from the United Kingdom.
With social media dominating communication among young Americans, taunting is no longer confined to school hours.
Referendum on Scottish independence is the first major election in the UK where 16 and 17-year olds get a vote.
join our mailing list