Thursday, January 8, 2009

Fearless Journalism & Progress Towards Ethical Democracy

Lasantha Wicramatunga is dead. The chief editor of The Sunday Leader of Sri Lanka was shot executioner style by hooded gunmen in broad daylight on his way to work.

His death is a grevious loss to Sri Lankan democracy as tries to find through flawed practice, an ethical path to intractable problems of separatism and terrorism.

Wickramatunga's voice would have been invaluable today and every day because of its ethical fire. Now it has been brutally silenced. The greatest losers are ALL the people of Sri Lanka, whether Buddhist, Tamil, Christian, Muslim, tribal, whoever and whatever.
It is also South Asia's loss as we struggle to build democracies that are ethically defensible.

South Asia's democracies have to learn slowly and painfully to go the extra mile to allow and encourage the unfettered flow of information, opinion and expression in our civil societies. Let us who make up the civil societies of these fragile democracies, reflect sombrely on the loss of Lasantha Wicramatunga. And the valuable practical lessons we can learn and implement as members of civil society from his life and his needless mindless sacrifice.

Chithra KarunaKaran
Ethical Democracy As Lived Practice