Editor Fingers Killers From Beyond Grave

Slain Sri Lankan journo blames gov't in posthumous editorial
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2009 6:32 AM CST
Staff members of the Sunday Leader newspaper mourn near the body of editor Lasantha Wickramatunga at Athidiya in the suburbs of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Friday, Jan. 9, 2009.   (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)
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(Newser) – Days after the murder of Sri Lanka's best-known independent journalist, his newspaper has published a 2,500 word editorial from "beyond the grave" that accuses the government of orchestrating his death. Lasantha Wickrematunge was shot dead on Thursday after 15 years of dogged reporting on the country's civil war. "When I am finally killed, it will be the government that kills me," writes Wickrematunge.

As the Guardian reports, Sri Lanka's Sunday Leader published major scoops about the government, including war atrocities, despite heavy censorship. Wickrematunge had suffered several attempts on his life before, which he alludes to in the article—believed to be written only several days before his death. "Countless journalists have been harassed, threatened, and killed," he wrote. "It has been my honor to belong to all those categories, and now especially the last."