Photo by Deepal V. Perera taken off the late Mel Gunesekara’s Facebook page

Our Sunday morning was shattered by the horrible news that journalist friend Mel Gunasekera was found murdered in her suburban home in Battaramulla. She had been alone at home after parents went to church. The motive for this senseless killing is not yet clear. Initial report:

Mel was a versatile, highly experienced yet low key journalist. She initially reported for the Sunday Times, and later worked with the French news agency AFP and was founder editor of Lanka Business Online. She covered a broad range of topics from economics and the Lankan war to sports and lifestyle.

Whatever the topic, she was dogged in her pursuit and lucid in her writing style. She had the ability to wade through complex statistics and jargon to get to the heart of the matter.

She demystified numbers all her career, getting to the stories beneath and then telling them well. How ironic that she now joins our land’s grim crime stats.

As a person, Mel was very amiable, fun loving and stayed well above the fray. I wish we’d spent more time together. It saddens me deeply that we shall never again see her dazzlingly mischievous smile or those twinkling eyes.

Goodbye, my spirited friend.