Last Words from Journalist Murdered in Sri Lanka

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18 Responses to “Last Words from Journalist Murdered in Sri Lanka”

  1. matt joyce says:

    I wish our news media had enough courage to risk their paychecks on reporting the news. Much less risking their lives.

  2. Booklegger451 says:

    “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
    - Thomas Jefferson, November 13, 1787

    The tree of liberty is looking a bit greener in Sri Lanka. Hopefully someday, hopefully someday SOON, it’ll flourish.

  3. johnca says:

    I’m in Sri Lanka now, and was at the first protest after Lasantha’s death last week. I didn’t know the man, but was moved to tears a few times at the protest, and when reading his editorial. Moved by his bravery, by my care for Sri Lanka generally, and by this moment, which has stirred up a lot in some people here. For many others here it is probably not such a big deal, especially those who don’t read English (the language of the Sunday Leader), or who support the government in its suppression of others’ views.

    Still, i think now is a moment of opportunity to mobilize support for freedom in Sri Lanka, locally and through international attention. So if you are moved by this, please take the next step and contact your representatives asking them to speak up, write an editorial for your local paper, contact your favorite human rights group to see how you can get involved.

  4. Bledsoefilms says:

    Thank you all for your comments, I imagine it will mean a lot to friends and family. This story came to us from a close friend of the the show, and so it also means a lot to us personally to hear all that you’ve had to say.

    @Mojave

    I can’t honestly believe that anyone lends any credibility to S. J. Wurzelbacher or anything that he says:

    “I think media should be abolished from, uh, you know, reporting.”

    How can anyone take that seriously? It’s an absolute travesty.

  5. Takuan says:

    “If you remember nothing else, remember this: The Leader is there for you, be you Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim, low-caste, homosexual, dissident or disabled. Its staff will fight on, unbowed and unafraid, with the courage to which you have become accustomed. Do not take that commitment for granted. Let there be no doubt that whatever sacrifices we journalists make, they are not made for our own glory or enrichment: they are made for you. Whether you deserve their sacrifice is another matter. As for me, God knows I tried.”

  6. minTphresh says:

    xeni, im very sorry for your loss. in this case, it seems we all lose. he seems to have been a brave and courageous human being, and a credit to his profession. something ANY amerikan journalist could aspire to: telling the truth about what is going on out there. rest in peace, Lasantha Wickrematunge. u will b missed.

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      @minTphresh and others — agree with your analysis of Lasantha’s work, and his final words. But I was not acquainted with the deceased, for the record. If you read the post, I’m explaining that this was a quoted note from a filmmaker who is a friend of Boing Boing.

  7. Liquid 2 says:

    I literally got chills reading this, Xeni. Several times, in fact. Thanks for sharing.

    We can all only aspire to be as devoted to our respective arts as Lasantha Wickrematunge. His death is truly a loss.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Xeni.

    I was very moved.

  9. ADavies says:

    This paragraph chilled and inspired me at the same time…

    [Mahinda] You have told me yourself that you were not greedy for the presidency. You did not have to hanker after it: it fell into your lap. You have told me that your sons are your greatest joy, and that you love spending time with them, leaving your brothers to operate the machinery of state. Now, it is clear to all who will see that that machinery has operated so well that my sons and daughter do not themselves have a father.

    What a way to name names. Much respect.

  10. JoshuaNorman says:

    Sri Lanka truly is an enigma when it comes to their seemingly state-sanctioned (at least not frowned upon) violence against journalists, being that is naturally such a beautiful and warm place. It is in a perverted way the type of command and conquer strategy that Donald Rumsfeld dreamed of in 2003, when he bombed Al-Jazeera’s Baghdad bureau.
    Lasantha Wickrematunge did truly have one of those “and then they came for me” moments. It is so incredibly sad.
    Sri Lanka’s journalists are also in the precarious position of living somewhere that is little more than a tourist curioso to the West. Point being, it’s hard to make us (the Royal “Us”) care about anything that goes on their beyond a passing interest, no matter how unjust or wrong the event may be. (Having lived in a piss-poor part of Africa for a time, I can say Sri Lanka is not alone there.)
    State-sanctioned aggression against the media exists in varying forms the world over, even here. Really, how many more steps does it take to get from the George Bush/Sarah Palin strategy “It’s the media’s fault I look like an idiot” to violently intimidating journalists to fall in line? I put forth not many.
    -Josh

  11. jaduncan says:

    Wow. I salute a man who lived his life according to his principles to the last. This was genuinely a privilege to read.

    .

  12. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for posting this.

  13. Rymenhild1 says:

    I can hardly imagine how anyone could be that courageous.

    May Wickrematunge’s memory be for a blessing. May the free media for which he worked, and for which he died, continue to speak truth to power in his name.

  14. Anonymous says:

    A compelling story from a great man. Such selfless sacrifice restores my confidence in human nature. May he rest in peace.

  15. Ryan Waddell says:

    Damn. A fine piece of writing by a man far braver than I’ll ever be. FAR braver.

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