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UK links SF to Lasantha killing

[DailyMirror, Monday, 11 April 2011 08:31 No Comment]

The Sri Lanka government says it was told by British officials that they had evidence to suggest former military chief Sarath Fonseka was involved in the assassination of the editor of Sunday Leader.

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha, a ruling party MP, told BBC Sinhala service that the defence attaché of the British High Commission (BHC) in Colombo "gave a note" that accused then General Fonseka of being responsible for the assassination.

A spokesperson at the BHC in Colombo told BBC Sinhala service: "The British High Commission in Colombo would willingly share with the Sri Lankan authorities any evidence it obtained that shed any light on the assassination of the Sunday Leader Editor.”

General Fonseka, commander of the Sri Lanka army under President Mahinda Rajapaksa, during the war later selected as the common presidential candidate by the major opposition parties against Mr Rajapaksa.

British authorities have neither denied nor confirmed Prof Wijesinha’s statement.

"When the election came they (the British HC) took his side and did not provide us with the information," Prof Wijesinha told BBC Sandeshaya.

But the UK authorities have denied having favoured Gen Fonseka at January 2010 presidential elections.

“The UK Government remains impartial during elections in other countries. We did not favour any candidate in the Presidential Elections in Sri Lanka in 2009,” the BHC spokesperson said.

The US State Department report says that there has been no progress in investigations into the killing of Sunday Leader editor, Lasantha Wickrematunga and the disappearance of LankaeNews journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda.

In response Prof. Wijesinghe admitted that "it is necessary" to properly investigate the assassination but there was what he called a danger of government being accused of "political victimization" if they pursue the case against Fonseka.

"But of course we shouldn’t stop investigations just because we will be accused of political victimizations," said Prof. Wijesinghe.

Lasantha Wickrametunga was shot dead in Colombo on 08 January, 2009. The attackers were never caught.

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