Friday, 16 January 2009

Press Freedom in Sir Lanka?

I am shocked by the murder of Sri Lankan Sunday Leader journalist Lasantha Wickrematunga, who was was assassinated in Colombo on 9 January 2009.

Lasantha Wickrematunge was the editor of Sri Lanka's Sunday Leader and an outspoken critic of the government. Before his death, knowing that he was a target, he wrote an editorial entitled ‘And then they came for me’. The Leader published this 3 days after his death.

It begins:

"No other profession calls on its practitioners to lay down their lives for their art save the armed forces - and, in Sri Lanka, journalism. In the course of the last few years, the independent media have increasingly come under attack. Electronic and print institutions have been burned, bombed, sealed and coerced. Countless journalists have been harassed, threatened and killed. It has been my honour to belong to all those categories, and now especially the last...."

Read the full text of this amazing piece here on the Guardian website. It has now been republished in a number of sites.

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