Colombo, Jan 9 (AFP) – The family of a newspaper editor murdered in Sri Lanka criticised the government for failing to bring his killers to justice as they marked the ninth anniversary of his death on Monday.
Lasantha Wickrematunga, a prominent critic of the former administration, was stabbed days before he was due to testify in a corruption case involving the then defence minister Gotabhaya Rajapakse.
The killing sparked an international outcry and shone a light on human rights violations in Sri Lanka under former president Mahinda Rajapakse, Gotabhaya’s brother.
President Maithripala Sirisena promised to bring the perpetrators to justice when he came to power in 2015 after ousting Rajapakse, but no one has yet been prosecuted.
In a statement, Wickrematunga’s brother Lal accused the government of using the case as a political tool without ensuring justice was done.
“What about bringing the perpetrators to book,” he said, adding there was a “sense of hopelessness” over the government’s handling of the case.
“Justice needs to be done not as a favour. Justice needs to be done to prevent repetition.”
Wickrematunga had accused the former defence secretary of taking kickbacks in arms procurements, including the purchase of second-hand MiG jet fighters.
Gotabhaya Rajapakse has been accused of giving orders to a shadowy military outfit allegedly involved in murdering journalists and political dissidents during Sri Lanka’s long-running civil war, an allegation he denies.