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And Then They Came For Him
January 12, 2009 10:10 AM   Subscribe

Lasantha Wickrematunge's last editorial [via bb] as part of the Sri Lankan Sunday Leader. Lasantha was shot on the way to work, but seems to have had a piece ready for just this situation. In a country where the state boasts about bombing radio stations, two journalists were executed in 2008 and five in 2007 the fact that this killing took place in broad daylight after state media called the paper unpatriotic has led to accusations of governmental involvement.
posted by jaduncan (18 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by chunking express at 10:36 AM on January 12, 2009


When a government murders journalists - and other civilians, it is always horrific and repugnant. But it is particularly disappointing when a Buddhist nation is involved, because the Buddhists have historically been notably less violent than the Christians, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus (note the BJP and Shiv Sena in India). Sri Lanka is home to one of the oldest branches of Buddhism.
posted by kozad at 11:02 AM on January 12, 2009


It is a strangely violent, militant, nationalist branch of Buddhism. Those Sri Lankan monks don't fuck around. Most news coming out of Sri Lanka is depressing, and this is sadly no exception.
posted by chunking express at 11:21 AM on January 12, 2009


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Tambiah's work on Sri Lanka actually comments alot about the odd conjunction of violence and Buddhism in Sinhala political life.
posted by LMGM at 11:34 AM on January 12, 2009


Wow. Writing an editorial in advance of your anticipated assassination. That must hurt.
posted by e-state 4.0 at 11:34 AM on January 12, 2009


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posted by parudox at 11:46 AM on January 12, 2009


What a gutsy piece of writing. I hope they catch the people involved, though I realize there's little chance of that. Thanks for the post.
posted by languagehat at 12:00 PM on January 12, 2009


groundview's site is currently black in honour of Lasantha Wickrematunge, with a few links to some articles and poetry.

I had forgot that J.S. Tissainayagam is still in jail.
posted by chunking express at 12:07 PM on January 12, 2009




Unfortunate in this day and age that he could prepare this and have it come true like clockwork. We have so much work to do.

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posted by batmonkey at 1:32 PM on January 12, 2009


But it is particularly disappointing when a Buddhist nation is involved, because the Buddhists have historically been notably less violent

Those quiet, peaceful Japanese, Vietnamese, slavery-era Tibet, and so on would seem to be counter-examples. I think you're over-romanticising.
posted by rodgerd at 5:00 PM on January 12, 2009


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posted by fourcheesemac at 8:17 PM on January 12, 2009


wow....
posted by kuatto at 8:31 PM on January 12, 2009


It is a strangely violent, militant, nationalist branch of Buddhism. Those Sri Lankan monks don't fuck around.

This conflict is supposedly the very first Buddhist holy war.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 8:41 PM on January 12, 2009


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posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:53 PM on January 12, 2009


As for me, I have the satisfaction of knowing that I walked tall and bowed to no man. And I have not travelled this journey alone.
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posted by Abiezer at 9:06 PM on January 12, 2009


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For Lakmal, who cannot go back to his country where he was born but could not be raised.

And for Lasantha, who could not put down his pen while the state still brandished its sword.
posted by librarylis at 9:35 PM on January 12, 2009




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