U&U Newsdesk

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Stories from U&U Newsdesk

sonali
Friday, August 12th, 2011

By Gena Chung

Mahinda Rajapaksa
Monday, January 4th, 2010

President Mahinda Rajapakse has been challenged to dispel the widely held perception that his government is complicit in a cover up of Lasantha Wickrematunge's assassins. In a letter dated January 4, 2010, Sonali Samarasinghe Wickrematunge highlighted the various steps taken by the state to stonewall an investigation into her husband's murder and called for an "impartial, transparent and professional inquiry" into the killing.

Sonali Receiving Harvard Award
Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard presented the Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism to slain Sri Lankan newspaper editor Lasantha Wickrematunge and the journalists of Afghanistan on Tuesday, November 17, 2009.

The Exhibit
Sunday, October 18th, 2009

Peter Sandbichler one of Austria's celebrated architects and artists pays tribute to one of Sri Lanka's courageous sons.

The sculpture about 8 metres high stands outside on the Museum Quartier (MQ) forecourt. According to the Mumok Vienna's world famous Museum of Modern Arts, the artist "uses this public space in order to construct a tower-like billboard on which abstract sculpture and concrete message interact with each other: at close quarters it appears to be purely a grid of forms, but as the day goes on it turns out from a distance to be a portrait of the Sri-Lankan journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge.

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Slain Sri Lankan editor Lasantha Wickrematunge and a New York Times reporter held captive for seven months received the National Press Club's 2009 John Aubuchon Press Freedom Awards. The awards are bestowed on one international journalist and one American journalist who embody the principles of a free press. They were honored at the Awards Dinner on August 3.

Lasantha Wickrematunge was editor of The Sunday Leader in Sri Lanka until January, when a commando hit squad on motorcycles assassinated him in his car on the way to work.

Senators'letter page 1
Monday, June 8th, 2009

Senior US Senators Patrick Leahy (Democrat-Vermont) and Robert P. Casey (Democrat-Pennsylvania) wrote to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Friday (June 5) calling on her to use all the leverage the United States has with Sri Lanka including its support for international lending to encourage respect for basic human rights and a sustainable politcal settlement.

Gotabhaya Grinning
Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

Troops and leaders of the United States and United Kingdom should be accused of war crimes before Sri Lanka is made to face any kind of war crimes tribunal, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has stated in an interview with Nitin A. Gokhale, Senior Defence Editor of India's NDTV Channel.

Bill Rammell
Friday, May 15th, 2009
The United Kingdom will support an "early investigation into all incidents that may have resulted in civilian casualties, particularly the reported shelling of hospitals, to determine whether war crimes have been committed," declared British Foreign Minister Bill Rammell, speaking in Parliament, Thursday.
Dr. Bernard Kouchner
Thursday, May 14th, 2009
The United Nations Security Council yesterday issued a hard hitting statement (SC/9659) demanding that the government and the LTTE abide by international humanitarian law, and insisting that the LTTE lay down its arms and allow civilians under its deadly grip to escape to safety.
President Barack Obama
Thursday, May 14th, 2009
U.S. President Barack Obama has called upon the Sri Lankan government to cease its bombardment of the no-fire zone and allow UN and other humanitarian agencies access to the civilians trapped in fierce fighting between the army and remnants of the LTTE.
Bernand Kouchner UN 11-May-09
Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

Updated 13-May-09: Added Q&A Session after press briefing.

The three European members of the UN Security Council yesterday appealed to the media bring international pressure and attention to the unfolding humanitarian disaster in Sri Lanka, with a view to getting the country on the agenda of the Security Council.

Mahinda Rajapakse
Friday, May 8th, 2009
Lasantha Wickrematunge's widow, Sonali Samarasinghe Wickrematunge, today publicly released a letter that she had addressed to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse on April 24, expressing her dismay at the government's attempts to cover up the assassination of her husband, and systematically dismantling the official line that Mr. Wickrematunge was killed by 'forces attempting to discredit the government.'
IGP and Mahinda
Sunday, March 15th, 2009
In a letter to Inspector General of Police, Jayantha Wickremaratna, Sonali Samarasinghe Wickrematunge has asked the police chief to record statements from cabinet ministers purporting to have knowledge of her slain husband Lasantha's murderers.
Hillary Clinton
Wednesday, March 11th, 2009
In a letter organized by U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), seven U.S. Senators today wrote a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton regarding their sharp concerns over the escalating humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka as an estimated 150,000 civilians remain trapped in an area of intense combat between Sri Lankan government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).  

U.S. State Department Logo
Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

The government's respect for human rights declined as armed conflict escalated. The overwhelming majority of victims of human rights violations, such as killings and disappearances, were young male Tamils, while Tamils were only 16 percent of the overall population.

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa in the Chris Morris Interview
Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

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.

Monday, January 19th, 2009

Six American diplomats who served as ambassadors to Sri Lanka between 1989 and 2006, have written to Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse asking him to "re-establish accountability and rule of law in Sri Lanka." The full text of the letter follows:

Sinnathamby Sivamaharajah
Sunday, August 20th, 2006
Managing Editor of the Jaffna based, Tamil language Namathu Eelanadu newspaper, former Member of Parliament Mr. Sinnathamby Sivamaharajah, was killed on August 20, 2006.
Sampath Lakmal Square
Sunday, July 2nd, 2006
Twenty four year old Sampath Lakmal de Silva was a free lance defence correspondent for several Sinhala language newspapers, who was found shot dead in Colombo's southern suburb of Dehiwela on July 2, 2006. The newspaper Mr. de Silva wrote for include the Irudina, Lakbima and Sathdina.
Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006

On May 2, 2006, an armed mob stormed the offices of the Tamil language Uthayan newspaper in Jaffna, firing at the group's employees, killing two of them.

One of those killed was Rajaratnam Ranjith, a staff member of the Uthayan group.