Daughter of slain Sri Lankan editor accuses Ranil Wickremesinghe of using her father’s name to win votes

The daughter of a leading Sri Lankan journalist killed during the rule of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday accused Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of failing to do enough to prosecute the ex-strongman’s brother for the alleged involvement in her father’s murder.

Lasantha Wickrematunga, the founder and editor of the Sunday Leader, was waylaid by some unidentified bike-borne assailants who gunned him down in the Colombo suburb of Ratmalana in January 2009.

Wickrematunga and his newspaper were staunch critics of Mr. Rajapaksa. He was a sharp critic of the then government’s alleged human rights violations during the civil war with the ethnic Tamil rebels.

Ahimsa Wickrematunga, the daughter of the slain editor, wrote to Mr. Wickremesinghe that during the last four and a half years he had protected the former strongman’s brother Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who is a presidential hopeful.

“From the day my father died, you have invoked his name to win votes. My father’s murder was a prop in the 2015 parliamentary and presidential elections that made you Prime Minister. You brought President (Maithripala Sirisena to power and won control of parliament by promising justice for my father’s murder,” Ms. Ahimsa wrote to Mr. Wickremesinghe.

Ms. Ahimsa has filed a plaint in the US against Mr. Gotabhaya as he was an American and Sri Lankan dual citizen.

Sri Lanka’s presidential elections are slated to be held later this year.