A plea to end the violence and restore human rights in Sri Lanka
“But there is a calling that is yet above high office, fame, lucre, and security. It is the call of conscience. ” – Lasantha Wickramatunga
A Sri Lanka friend of ours has asked that we add our voices to the outcry against the carnage that is taking place today in Sri Lanka and that we not allow the world to continue to stand by.
According to Amnesty International USA, “the total estimated casualty figures of the conflict since January are more than 7,000 killed and 13,000 injured. There are an estimated 50,000 civilians still trapped in the area.”
I want to share with you an excerpt from a speech by the widow of murdered Sri Lankan Journalist Lasantha WICKREMATUNGE on World Press Freedom Day on May 3rd. He husband was posthumously honored as the 2009 UNESCO WORLD PRESS FREEDOM LAUREATE.
“The free Sri Lanka in which I was born no longer exists. Our country has entered a Dark Age characterized by tyranny and state-sponsored terror, where the government publicly, cynically and unapologetically equates democratic dissent to treason….
“… violence against journalists is only the tip of the iceberg. Tens of thousands of ordinary Sri Lankan civilians-men, women, children, and the aged-have been herded into concentration camps where they are held against their will…
… the government itself has plastered the countryside with enormous placards lauding the military with the slogan, in Sinhala, the language of the Sinhalese majority to which I too, belong, stating: “Soldiers, our race salutes you!” Not “the people”, not “the country”, but the race.
“…I make this point because it is urgent and important that the world realizes what is happening in Sri Lanka before it is too late.”
You can read her full speech here.