Journalists

Dushy Ranetunge

Dushmanthe Srikanthe Ranetunge (born 25 December 1960), commonly known as Dushy Ranetunge, is a Sri Lankanjournalist based in London.

Biography

Educated at Royal College, Colombo, the University of North London and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), he worked in merchant banking in the city of London before becoming a journalist.

Ranetunge’s foray into Journalism was as a result of an accidental meeting with Rohan Gunaratna in London during the late 1990s. Gunaratna was in Scotland, reading for his doctorate in international relations from St Andrews University, where he was a British Chevening Scholar. Gunaratna encouraged Ranetunge, who was in London, to exploit his Merchant Banking experience to initiate investigations into the financing operation of the LTTE (Tamil Tigers) in London.

Ranetunge has traveled widely following the early rise of LTTE, covering LTTE meetings in the UK, Europe and North America, their proscription as terrorists worldwide and more recently Sri Lankan-LTTE peace talks in Geneva. The early visits covered separatists international Peace Conferences in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom and other separatist events in Europe organised to raise the international profile of the secessionist movement. Exposure of these events in The Island in Sri Lanka disrupted them.

After the publication of his article “Dinosaurs of the Tamil cause congregate in Ottawa” in The Island in Sri Lanka on 4 June 1999, the secessionists were not able to organise any more international conferences  of that magnitude and international participation, as the host countries began denying visa’s and deporting participants.

The publication of his article “British Charities fund Terrorists” on 4 October 2000 led to the British Charity Commissionraiding the LTTE’s premier fund raising vehicle, the Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO), freezing bank accounts and initiating an investigation which resulted in the TRO being de-listed from the British Charities register.

On 28 February 2001 Britain listed the LTTE as a terrorist organization under the Terrorism Act 2000.

Similar Action followed against the TRO in the United States more recently.

Ranetunge has been a fierce critic of the LTTE. From the late 1990s, he has contributed regularly to The Island in Sri Lanka and more recently to the Tamilweek. A Buddhist and a supporter of Sri Lanka, he is freely critical of both. As a result, he has attracted censure from nationalists on both sides of Sri Lanka’s ethnic divide.

He has appeared on BBC TV, BBC World Service Radio, BBC Radio 5 and others to discuss politics in Sri Lanka.

Personal life

Ranetunge emigrated to the UK at the age of 18, where he lives with his wife, Nilmarnie Panabokke and their two children, Annaliza (Queenswood School) and Julian (Winchester College).

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