Top female journalist murdered in Colombo

A top female journalist, Mel Gunasekara (40), has been murdered in her family home in Colombo this morning, leaving a shocking wave in the media circle in Sri Lanka, which is already a dangerous place for media workers in the world.

According to Colombo media sources, Mel Gunasekara, working as the Assistant Vice President for the international rating agency - Fitch, was alone at home in Battaramulla as her parents were away attending the Sunday morning prayers at a church in the neighbourhood, at the time of the incident. The body of Gunasekara with stab wounds was found by her parents when they returned from the church.

One time business journalist of the Colombo-based Sunday Times weekly, Mel Gunasekara had worked with the Agence France-Presse (AFP) for five years before joining Fitch’s Sri Lankan operation in 2012.

A veteran in business reporting, she was also the founding editor of Lanka Business online (LBO).

Sri Lanka is ranked 162nd out of 179 countries in the RSF press freedom index. At least 40 media workers have been killed or abducted and made to disappear while many media institutions have been bombed and burned, forcing many in the profession to flee the country.

There was no immediate reaction from the government.