Former Radio Veritas Asia executive dies at 82

Sri Lankan Jesuit priest Anton Weerasinghe, a former executive of the Church-run Radio Veritas Asia (Photo from AsiaNews)

Sri Lankan Jesuit priest Anton Weerasinghe, a former executive of Radio Veritas Asia, died on June 9 at the age of 82. 

Born on June 12, 1939, Father Anton, as he was fondly called by friends and colleagues, entered the seminary in 1960, becoming a priest 10 years later.

After earning a master's degree in communications from a university in Manila, Father Anton was appointed foreign service adviser to Radio Veritas Asia in December 1975.

He was largely responsible for enhancing the overseas productions of Radio Veritas Asia, then a new radio network broadcasting on short wave.

The Jesuit priest initiated the radio network's broadcast in 12 languages from the original three languages — Vietnamese, Mandarin, and Burmese.

Father Anton opened the Bengali, Karen, Kachin, Japanese, Sinhala, Tamil and Hindi language services of the network, among others.

“There is no doubt that he has fully fulfilled his responsibility as a foreign service adviser,” said Father Gamini Fernando, former producer of Radio Veritas Asia programs for Sri Lanka.

Father Fernando described the late Jesuit priest’s communication skills as “excellent” and “the value of his service in the field of Catholic communications in Sri Lanka is priceless.”

“His most outstanding quality was humility. He was a role model for us young people,” said Father Fernando. 

Jesuit priest Nimal Ignatius Perera described Father Anton as “an authentic companion of Jesus … with a modest character and gifted with many talents.” - with a report from AsiaNews