In memory of the fallen
"In my country
freedom is something more
than a delicate breeze of the soul,
it is also a courage of skin."
- Otto René Castillo
Sri Lanka's ruling coalition, United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA), swept into power in April 2004. Barely a month after, on the 31st of May, the veteran Tamil journalist Aiyathurai Nadesan was gunned down in the eastern coastal city of Batticaloa, by the government backed paramilitaries.
His death triggered a new war of annihilation. A war fought with a renewed vigor and an unprecedented brutality: A war against media and freedom of expression.
Within the next 6 years, at least 43 journalists and media workers were either killed or disappeared. No investigation pursued - no perpetrator brought to justice. The ruling UPFA government has outperformed all its predecessors by single-handedly wiping out at least 39 journalists and media workers so far.
The clock still ticks and the guns are still being oiled.
During the past three years , Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) worked relentlessly to uncover the truth. We were determined to compile a list as comprehensive and detailed as possible. The record needed to be set straight in order to counter the allegations of 'unduly inflated numbers',
Where justice delayed, impunity flourishes. Hence, we keep on fighting, in memory of the fallen.