Lasantha awarded “Press Freedom Hero”
Slain editor of the Sunday Leader newspaper Lasantha Wickremetunge has been named as a hero for freedom of the press by the International Press Institute.Wickrematunge, a fierce critic of the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tiger militants, was shot dead near Colombo on January 8, 2009. More than a year later, the killing has not been solved, IPI said.
“The murder of Wickrematunge was a shocking reminder of the dangers facing Sri Lanka’s courageous journalists, for whom death is all too often the ultimate form of censorship,” IPI Director David Dadge said in a written statement.
“By naming him an IPI World Press Freedom Hero, IPI honors his memory and his sacrifice, and sends the strongest message possible to the Sri Lankan government that the international community will not forget his murder and that the perpetrators must be found and punished.”
According to IPI figures, 17 journalists have been killed in Sri Lanka over the past decade. Two of them were killed in 2009.
Wickrematunge will be among 60 World Press Freedom Heroes honored in a ceremony in September, IPI said
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