The murder of Sri Lankan newspaper editor Lasantha Wickramatunga highlights the claim often made by human rights groups that the country is one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists to operate. He is the latest in a long line of Sri Lankan journalists who have been murdered or silenced over the past two decades. Many of the victims have not met their fate in the country’s war zone, because for much of the past 20 years independent journalists have been banned from reporting from the conflict areas.
“…Few reporters would dare write what he did in his most recent editorial – in which he referred to the president’s “bloodthirsty euphoria” following the fall of the Tamil Tiger-held town of Kilinochchi last week.
‘Should we fail meaningfully to address the aspirations of the Tamil people that survive this holocaust, we can be sure as night follows day that history will repeat itself… and all the bloodshed and all the sacrifice made to bring the war to a conclusion will have been in vain,’ he said…”