The editor of a leading English weekly newspaper was shot dead at a busy junction on Thursday, triggering a wave of anger in the media and public outrage.
Lasantha Wikramatunga, editor of the Sunday Leader newspaper, was on his way to office when unidentified gunmen on a motorcycle overtook his car and shot him in the head at point-blank range.
Wikramatunga was rushed to the Kalubowila hospital in a critical condition where a team of doctors operated him. He subsequently succumbed to his injuries.
Wikramatunga and his newspaper were critical of the government and many of its policies.
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa sued the newspaper last year for allegedly defaming him in two articles. An attempt on his life was also made in the mid ’90s.