People’s Tribunal to hear Lasantha’s murder today

  • Daughter Ahimsa to testify

BY Dinitha Rathnayake

“The People’s Tribunal on the Murder of Journalists” located in The Hague, the Netherlands, will launch its Tribunal today (2) to indict the Government of Sri Lanka for the assassination of slain Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge and its prolonged failure to bring his murderers to justice.

The International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists falls today, 2 November.

In addition to the murder of Wickrematunge, the Tribunal launched by the Free Press Unlimited, Reporters Without Borders, and Committee to Protect Journalists organisations will inquire into the murders of two other journalists, namely Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was assassinated at the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Turkey, and Maltese journalist Daphne Anne Caruana Galizia, who was assassinated in Malta. Khashoggi’s girlfriend and Galizia’s son are also scheduled to testify.

The Lasantha Wickrematunge murder case will be heard first, at which his daughter, Ahimsa Wickrematunge, who has been fighting to bring her father’s killers to justice, is also expected to testify. In a Tweet, she said that she was honoured to support the Tribunal.

The Hague is where the International Criminal Court is also located. The project, titled “A Safer World for the Truth”, is a collaboration between Free Press Unlimited, a press freedom organisation based in the Netherlands, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and Reporters Without Borders.

According to the People’s Tribunal on the Murder of Journalists, since 1992, more than 1,400 journalists have been killed, and in eight out of 10 cases where a journalist is murdered, the killers go free.

Wickrematunge was killed on 8 January 2009.