( October 15, 2017, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Senior journalist, defence correspondent and Sunday Observer News Editor Ranil Wijayapala (42), passed away yesterday after a long illness. An old boy of Taxila Central College, Horana, he joined the Daily News in February 1997 as a journalist and later became its News Editor.
During a journalistic career spanning over two decades, he covered many beats including Parliament, politics, crime, education and health. But his specialty was defence. Thrust into journalism at the height of the conflict, he earned a name as a brilliant defence correspondent for both the Daily News and the Sunday Observer. His weekly defence column with up-to-the minute analysis in the Daily News was eagerly awaited not only by the general readership but also by the defence establishment and foreign observers. He was no armchair analyst – he walked the talk, reporting from all the major battles of the Eelam War until the final battle at Nandikadal. He was also a versatile feature writer.
He joined the Sunday Observer in 2009. While working as a senior reporter of the Sunday Observer, he was appointed News Editor and held that position until his untimely demise. He had a remarkable nose for news and guided colleagues and reporters to produce exclusive stories. He is survived by his wife Sriyani and two young sons Dinidu and Uvindu.
The funeral will be held on October 16 (Monday) at 3 p.m. at the kandanapitiya cemetery, Padukka. The remains are at his residence at Ranaviru Ravi Krishan Mawatha, Kandanapitiya, Bope, Padukka (9 Km from Meepe on Ingiriya Road).