Sri Lankan newspaper editor predicted his own death

A Sri Lankan newspaper editor wrote a chilling editorial predicting his own death, published three days after he was shot dead in Sri Lanka’s captial, Colombo.

Jonathan Steele at The Guardian reports that Lasantha Wickrematunge, editor of independent paper, the Sunday Leader, feared his death may be imminent.

In the 2,500 word article, Wickrematnge suggests the perpetrators to be rulers of the troubled country. He wrote: “When finally I am killed, it will be the government that kills me.”

Wickrematunge was shot in the head on Thursday on his way to work by two gun-men on a motorcycle.

Sri Lanka is gripped by civil war between the Sinhala dominated governemnt and the Tamil Tigers, who want autonomy.

There is currently censorship on war reporting on the island, however, The Sunday Leader regularly reveals atrocities suspected of being committed by the security forces.

Wickrematangue, a member of the Sinhala elite, considered himself to be a close friend of Sri Lanka’s president Mahinda Rajapaske.

The editor ended the article on his paper’s commitment to reporting the truth, serving as a telling posthumous message for his staff, he wrote: “If you remember nothing else, remember this: the Leader is there for you, be you Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim, low-caste, homosexual, dissident or disabled. Its staff will fight on, unbowed and unafraid.”

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