Colombo, Human Rights, Peace and Conflict

Media, Terrorism and Subterfuge: Where is Sri Lanka’s Zola?


Mr. President, this is a blot against your name!

It’s not Mahinda Rajapaksa I refer to when I begin my article with these words, but Félix Faure, the President of France at the time of the infamous Dreyfus Affair, involving the wrongful conviction for treason of a young French artillery officer, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, and the political and judicial scandal that followed until his full rehabilitation.

I begin my article with a lone voice of reason and truth, Émile Zola, who stood up in support of Alfred Dreyfuss. In an open letter to President Faure, Zola said that the haunted vision of a man wrongfully accused troubled him at night and compelled him to stand up for truth and justice.

In doing so, Zola inspired writers and thinkers ever since to stand up for what is right. For the truth. And for justice.

My article goes on to explore the recent events in Sri Lanka in which media personnel were branded as terrorists and apologists for the LTTE. Today, when the threats against media abound, and all sorts of conspiracy theories are making the rounds, I bemoan that a Zola, while urgently needed in Sri Lanka, is also impossible to find.

Read my full article here.