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A haunting posthumous editorial from Sri Lanka

This editorial (now nearly two months old, sorry) was written by the paper’s editor-in-chief, Lasantha Wickrematunge, a few days before he was shot and killed, apparently for his criticism of the government and its repression of the Sri Lankan people. He wrote this editorial after several attempts on his life and threats, and asked the paper to publish it if (when?) he should be killed.

The editorial itself is beautifully written—it precisely and unashamedly condemns the actions of the government in attempting to suppress the press. This section, in particular, caught my eye:

Every newspaper has its angle, and we do not hide the fact that we have ours. Our commitment is to see Sri Lanka as a transparent, secular, liberal democracy. Think about those words, for they each has profound meaning. Transparent because government must be openly accountable to the people and never abuse their trust. Secular because in a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society such as ours, secularism offers the only common ground by which we might all be united. Liberal because we recognise that all human beings are created different, and we need to accept others for what they are and not what we would like them to be. And democratic… well, if you need me to explain why that is important, you’d best stop buying this paper.

As an American, I am blessed with (by and large) the sort of transparent, secular, liberal democracy that this man died for, and it is an excellent reminder to me of the blessings I have and the obligation that places on me to protect, preserve, and extend them.

H/T to The Big Picture for the link to the editorial