Memorial service to mark Lasantha’s fifth death anniversary today
Wednesday, 8 January 2014 00:00
A memorial service will be held at the gravesite of journalist and founder Editor of The Sunday Leader Lasantha Wickrematunge at Borella Kanatte at 9 a.m. today, to mark his fifth death anniversary.
On Thursday, 9 January, the Lasantha Wickrematunge candlelit memorial organised by Samagi will take place at 5:30 p.m., in front of Malagalage Primary School, Attidiya.
Wickrematunge was attacked in 2009 in Attidiya while on his way to work at around 10:30 a.m. by armed assassins riding motorcycles, who blocked Wickrematunge’s vehicle before breaking open his window and assaulting him.
He was taken to the Colombo South General Hospital (Kalubowila), where he died from his head wounds, despite a specialist team of medical personnel carrying out surgery lasting nearly three hours.
Although five years have passed since the Founder Editor of The Sunday Leader was killed by armed men, to date the case has not been solved, with the key suspect dying while in Police custody.
In 2009, Wickrematunge posthumously won the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize.
He was also awarded the Louis Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism of Harvard University’s Nieman Foundation, the James Cameron Memorial Trust Award, and the American National Press Club’s John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award.
In 2010, Wickrematunge was declared a World Press Freedom Hero of the International Press Institute.