SecDef "not concerned" About Lasantha's Murder

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Says Dissent is Treason
Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009
Gotabhaya Rajapaksa in the Chris Morris Interview

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa giggles hysterically when asked about Lasantha's murder

In an interview with the BBC's Chris Morris, aired on February 2, 2009, Sri Lanka's Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who is also President Mahinda Rajapaksa's brother, brushed off the assassination of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge, dismissing the veteran journalist as "someone who was writing to a tabloid." Rajapaksa warned the government would consider all forms of dissent during this "time of war" to be tantamount to treason, a crime which is constitutionally punishable by death.

His rationale for this declaration was that he was fighting to "save" his country, and for the "sovereignity" of his country.

The secretary, who is a naturalized U.S. citizen, did not clarify during this interview whether he considered Sri Lanka or the United States of America as 'his country' and thus was unclear as to which country's sovereignity he was intent on saving.

Shortly after the interview, Mr. Rajapaksa publicly branded Chris Morris as a terrorist sympathiser, forcing the BBC correspondent to flee the country.

See full video (BBC footage) below:

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© British Broadcasting Corporation Limited, London