Monday, January 19, 2009

Four Journalists including Iqbal Athas flee abroad after Lasantha killing

Four prominent journalists have fled Sri Lanka in the aftermath of “The Sunday Leader” editor Lasantha Wickrematunge’s brutal assassination in broad daylightby motor cycle gunmen in civilian clothes and helmets.

The journalists had allegedly received reliable tip – offs from within the defence ministry that they were on the hit list of the sinister forces behind Lasantha Wickrematunge’s killing and the attack on Sirasa/MTV studio.

After this sudden turn of events four journalists have left the country and gone overseas.

The four journalists are the political columnist of Lankadeepa newspaper Upul Joseph Fernando, Lankadeepa defence columnist, Rathnapala Gamage, Sunday Times defence columnist Iqbal Athas, and Anuruddha Lokuhappuarachchi, Reuters photojournalist.

Iqbal Athas who has been under constant threat had left Sri Lanka earlier and relocated his family abroad.

He had then returned to Colombo and resumed writing in a very restrained and careful manner

His situation report has not appeared in”Sunday Times” for two weeks in succession.

Meanwhile, MTV News Director Chevan Daniel has also left the Country some sources said.


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