100 articles – ‘And then they came for me …’

28 April 2010

Written by: Lawrie Zion

‘And then they came for me…’ by Lasantha Wickrematunge

Lasantha Wickrematunge was the editor of the Sunday Leader newspaper and a prominent journalist in Sri Lanka. While on his way to work on January 8, 2009 he was murdered in his car by unidentified gunmen. Three days after his death Lasantha’s final editorial titled ‘And then they came for me’, was published in the Sunday Leader, leaving a haunting memory for everyone who valued him as a journalist and a human being.

This article encapsulates the challenges journalists must face in order to fight for what is right. When Lasantha was gone his editorial, referred to as his ‘voice from the grave’, was an inspiration for many other journalists who were determined to fight for media freedom.  

Reading Lasantha’s editorial makes you wonder about so many things. Should journalists draw a line between exposing the truth and saving their lives? If journalists must pay for their jobs with their lives should they withdraw or continue with their task? Should journalists sacrifice other things in their lives that transcend their profession? Should journalists report everything they know or consider self-censorship?  I wish I could ask Lasantha.

Shashini Gamage is a Master of Global Communications student at La Trobe University. More details about the 100 articles project, including details of how you can contribute to it, can be found here.