Lasantha’s Biography Penned By His Ex-wife Launched 

Shakila Ifham

March 31, 2023


“Writing this book was therapeutic and a journey of healing too,” said Raine Wickrematunga, author of the book `Unbowed and Unafraid’-The biography of Lasantha Wickrematunge. Raine is the ex-wife of the slain journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge.

Raine Wickrematunge believes that the book would inspire more and more journalists.

“Lasantha lived, breathed and finally died in the pursuit of the truth. I am indeed proud and honoured to present this book to the people of Sri Lanka who Lasantha cared about deeply,” said an emotional ex-wife, mother and journalist.

The Unbowed and Unafraid, is the biography of late founding Editor/ Chief Editor of The Sunday Leader, launched at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute on Monday (27) evening.

Raine Wickrematunge and recounts the life of the journalist, providing a personal and inspirational account. It also looks at Wickrematunge’s early life, foray into journalism, family life and political work. The main focus is on Wickrematunge’s achievements as a journalist, and on the assassination and the murder inquiry that followed.

The first copy of the book was presented to human rights activist Sandya Ekneligoda, the wife of the cartoonist who is believed to be a victim of an enforced disappearance, Pradeep Ekneligoda.

 After Lasantha Wickrematunge was murdered on a Colombo street in January 2009, his posthumous editorial published in The Sunday Leader titled ‘And Then They Came for Me’ resonated not just with Sri Lankans but with the world at large.

He wrote from beyond the grave, “I hope my murder will not be seen as a defeat of freedom, but an inspiration for those who survive to step up their efforts. Indeed, I hope that it will help galvanise forces that will usher in a new era of human liberty in our beloved motherland.”

Unbowed & Unafraid recounts the life of a trailblazer and offers an inside look at Wickrematunge’s life and work. It is a personal, inspirational account of the life of Wickrematunge who won the collective hearts of a nation due to his courage and dedication to the betterment of Sri Lanka.

The book also describes the author’s marriage and family life with Wickrematunge, his remarkable achievements and conflicts as a journalist, his tragic assassination and the murder inquiry thereafter.

The welcome address was delivered by Wickrematunge’s niece, journalist Raisa Wickrematunge. Raisa stressed that her Uncle life as a renowned journalist would inspire many young journalists.

The keynote address was by activist, actor and entrepreneur Peter D’Almeida, who is also the childhood friend of Lasantha Wickrematunge.

Peter D’Almeida expressed concern that those who promised investigations had failed to do so.

At the launch of the biography, Dr. Gayathri Fernando presented a review of Unbowed and Unafraid’. A reading of Wickrematunge’s posthumous editorial “And then they came for me” by former The Sunday Leader employees and Wickrematunge’s daughter Ahimsa Wickrematunge was also presented