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Government Remains Silent on Emblematic Cases Investigations

The government is maintaining a deafening silence on investigations into a number of emblematic cases, leaving families of victims without assurances of justice.

In 2015, then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe assured justice over murders, including those of former Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge and rugger player Wasim Thajudeen. However, President Wickremesinghe and his administration have not provided any assurances to the families of the victims since taking office after Gotabaya Rajapaksa was forced out of office.

Dr. Kasippillai Manoharan, whose 20-year-old son, Ragihar, was among the five youths killed in Trincomalee in 2006, expressed disappointment over the lack of communication from the government regarding investigations. Known as the ‘Trinco Five’ case, five Tamil students were allegedly killed by security forces on January 2, 2006.

Dr. Manoharan mentioned that Amnesty International had been pursuing his son’s case, and now another foreign individual was assisting to ensure justice.

Ahimsa Wickrematunge, daughter of former Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge, expressed her lack of surprise over the lack of progress in the investigations. She criticized the current government’s alleged association with her father’s killers and vowed to continue her fight for justice.

Lasantha Wickrematunge was assassinated in January 2009 while he was on his way to work. Other emblematic cases include the killing of workers for Action Against Hunger in 2006, the abduction of 11 youths between August 2008 and March 2009, the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda, and the Welikada Prison incident of 2012. Wickrematunge pledged to continue advocating for accountability and justice for victims of atrocities, particularly targeting journalists in Sri Lanka, through international tribunals or institutions.

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