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Daughter of slain Lankan editor accuses Wickremesinghe of using her father's name to win votes

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

The daughter of a leading Sri Lankan journalist killed during the rule of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday accused Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of failing to do enough to prosecute the ex-strongman's brother for alleged involvement in her father's murder.

Lasantha Wickrematunga, the founder and editor of the Sunday Leader, was waylaid by some unidentified bike-borne assailants who gunned him down in the Colombo suburb of Ratmalana in January 2009.

Wickrematunga and his newspaper were staunch critics of Rajapaksa. He was a sharp critic of the then government's alleged human rights violations during a civil war with the ethnic Tamil rebels.

Ahimsa Wickrematunga, the daughter of the slain editor, wrote to Wickremesinghe that during the last four and a half years he had protected the former strongman's brother Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who is a presidential hopeful.

"From the day my father died, you have invoked his name to win votes. My father's murder was a prop in the 2015 parliamentary and presidential elections that made you prime minister. You brought President (Maithripala) Sirisena to power and won control of parliament by promising justice for my father's murder," Ahimsa wrote to Wickremesinghe.

Ahimsa has filed a plaint in the US against Gotabhaya as he was an American and Sri Lankan dual citizen.

Sri Lanka's presidential elections are slated to be held later this year.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, August 13 2019. 22:35 IST
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