Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne yesterday said he felt ashamed for not being able to conclude court proceedings into the deaths of journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge and Rugby player Wasim Thajudeen, despite the lapse of over four years, and punish those responsible.
Speaking to media at Temple Trees, Dr. Senaratne said he acknowledged the incumbent Government was unable to bring justice to the families of Wickrematunge and Thajudeen.
“When I read our election promises, I feel ashamed as a Government, because we failed to keep our promises. We promised to take legal action against those murder cases, but even four and half years later we are yet to complete the process. This is not what people expected from us,” Dr. Senaratne said.
He accepted the Government had a responsibility to deliver on its promises. However, he argued that when compared to the environment in the country prior to 2015, media freedom had improved significantly.
“After 2015, there was no incidents of attacking journalists or threatening them. This was the media freedom we promised, but that will not bring justice for families of Lasantha or Thajudeen. Therefore I firmly believe the Government must act immediately to take legal action against those responsible.”
Dr. Senaratne further said the murder of Lasantha Wickrematunge was the main reason he decided to leave the former Government, but was forced to wait till the right moment to join an alliance to beat the former administration.