Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Heartfelt goodbye

Overshadowed by Gaza, I only heard the news of Lasantha Wickrematunge's death today. He spread-headed freedom of the press and unbiased reporting of the civil conflict that has burdened and corroded Sri Lanka for over 25 years.

This discovery of my former editor's assassination was gut-wrenching. I only worked at The Sunday Leader for a brief period of time, but count myself fortunate to have known him.

He was acutely aware of his imminent death and wrote an eloquent piece not only the plight of free media in Sri Lanka, but of the country itself (here). I leave you with an excerpt:

People often ask me why I take such risks and tell me it is a matter of time before I am bumped off. Of course I know that: it is inevitable. But if we do not speak out now, there will be no one left to speak for those who cannot, whether they be ethnic minorities, the disadvantaged or the persecuted.

Rest in peace Lasantha.

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