A 39-year-old man was on Wednesday sentenced to death by the Sri Lankan High Court for murdering a senior woman journalist. Mel Gunasekara (40) was found dead with cut injuries at her Colombo suburb home on February, 2014, while her other family members were attending a weekly mass at a nearby church.
Police arrested Anthony George, who had been previously hired by Gunsekara family to paint their house, over the killing. Gunasekara was stabbed to death when she attempted to resist the convict who broke into her house.
In addition to the death sentence, he was also imprisoned for stealing belongings of the victim after the murder. Gunsekara was the founding editor of Lanka Business Online, a popular financial news website in Sri Lanka and later worked as a correspondent at AFP in Colombo.
She was working as the vice president of Fitch Rating Lanka, a US-based rating agency. Even though Sri Lankan court continue to give death sentence on murder and drug trafficking, no execution has taken place since 1976 and death sentence is automatically commuted into a life imprisonment. By July 2017, there are about 1,100 inmates who are waiting in death row in Sri Lankan prisons.