Aug 22 (ITHACA NEWS) On Jan, 8, 2009, a newspaper editor was murdered. His wife, a prize-winning journalist now living in Ithaca, had begged him not to go to the office that day.
The couple had been followed in traffic by men on military-style black motorcycles.
But after phone calls to friends, the editor decided that the surveillance was merely part of a routine campaign of intimidation the government had been aiming at him for years.
'I will only rest when I destroy you,' the nation's president had once threatened. 'I will finish you!'
But the editor and his wife, whose paper's motto was 'unbowed and unafraid,' had continued to publish many articles exposing political corruption and brutal human rights violations.
Later that day in 2009, however, the editor's wife was called to the hospital. Her husband of only two months had been beaten to death on his way to the office by four motorcyclists wielding sharpened metal rods.
The president of the country — Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka — blamed 'an international conspiracy' for the death of Lasantha Wickrematunge, the editor of the Sunday Leader, published in Colombo, the capital city. The president vowed that his government would conduct immediate inquiries. Though the killing took place on a busy street with many witnesses, however, no one was ever convicted.
'I hold the president directly responsible for my husband's murder,' Sonali Samarasinghe, the editor's wife has said publicly. 'He has seen to it from day one that no effective investigation has taken place.'