There has been virtually no investigation into this crime, says his wife

Three years after the day-light murder of Lasantha Wickrematunge, editor of Sunday Leader newspaper, “there has been virtually no investigation into this crime,'' his wife has alleged. She wants an international investigation into the murder.

Wickrematunge was gunned down when he was on his way to work on January 8, 2009. Seventeen army personnel and a few others were taken into custody, but the case did not progress much beyond that. All of them were let off.

In a statement issued from New York to the media here, his wife, Sonali Samarasinghe, Journalist-in-Residence at the City University of New York, alleged that in the 36 months since the killing, “police had earlier succeeded in taking into custody five mobile phones, which on the day Lasantha was killed, moved in the same pattern as his phone.

Police say the phones that passed through 11 cellular phone towers that day have not been used before or since the day of the killing. However, they have not been disconnected either.

According to police, one of the five phones appears to have been used to monitor and control the entire operation. A track path of the calls made between the five telephones indicates that they communicated regularly with each other, constantly calling one particular mobile.”

She said:

“In October 2011, the only suspect remaining in custody, Pitchai Jesudasan, mysteriously died.

“As we remember Lasantha and his work and other journalists and activists around the world who have paid the supreme price in the line of duty, I call upon the international community to urge Sri Lanka's government to hold a proper independent investigation into Lasantha's murder, to bring back the rule of law.”

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