Leading editor shot dead in Sri Lanka (Lead)

January 8th, 2009 - 5:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Jan 8 (IANS) Gunmen riding a motorcycle shot dead the chief editor of a leading Sri Lankan weekly on the outskirts of Colombo as he drove his car during rush hour traffic, medical sources here said.Lasantha Wickramatunga of Sunday Leader was hit in the head in Dehiwela locality, wounding him seriously. He was rushed to the nearby Kalubowila National Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries three hours later.

A team of doctors from the Colombo National hospital battled to save him but in vain.

Police sources said two unidentified gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire at the editor’s car.

Television channels showed the visuals of the bullet-hit windscreen and blood-splattered Toyota car that Wickramatunga was in.

The shooting came two days after a group of unidentified gunmen armed with assault rifles and petrol bombs stormed a private television station and destroyed the main studio by setting it on fire.

Media right groups, activists, senior media personnel and leaders of political parties have vehemently condemned the latest attacks on the Sri Lankan media.

Thugs torched the Sunday Leader’s printing press in November 2007.

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