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Sri Lanka to Reopen High-profile Murder Investigations

FILE - Lasantha Wickrematunga, the chief editor of the Sunday Leader newspaper his Colombo, Sri Lanka office.

Sri Lanka's new government says it will reopen investigations into several high-profile assassinations including those of a newspaper editor and two lawmakers allegedly linked to the former government.

Government minister Rajitha Senaratne says arrests will soon be made in the killings of newspaper editor Lasantha Wickrematunga, and opposition politicians Nadaraja Raviraj and Joseph Pararajasingham.

The lawmakers were critical of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa's military campaign against separatist Tamil Tiger rebels. Wickrematunga, who edited the Sunday Leader newspaper, had exposed official corruption in the Rajapaksa government and was also highly critical of the war.

Pararajasingham was shot dead on Christmas day 2005 while Raviraj was shot dead the following year in his car. Wickrematunga was shot and killed in 2009 while travelling through a high security area on his way to work.

The new government came to power following the January 8 presidential election.

Rajapaksa, who took office in 2010, was criticized for becoming authoritarian, putting his family in top government positions and undermining institutions such as the judiciary.

He also faced allegations of corruption and doing little to draw the ethnic Tamil community into the mainstream.