Colombo, Human Rights, Human Security, Media and Communications, Poetry, Politics and Governance

Ashes at the Stake – For Lasantha

I remember the day I heard
Richard was killed
Almost twenty years ago.
Far away in the diaspora
I sat all night
My back bent
and still.

Regimes shifted,
People still disappeared
into the night
Witches, burnt at the stake
A sacrifice,
An offering..
In the name of the nation,

Today I heard
Lasatha was killed.
“One of us” who spoke
for the “them”,
Burnt at the stake..
Another offering..
In the name of the nation.

Far away in the diapora
I have sat still
With a bent back.
For much too long.
The Ashes
Gather momentum…


  • R.F Gune

    Richard De Zoysa was part of the JVP and was hell bent on destroying the government of the day. His close friends admitted to his pie in the sky Colombo 7 brand of pseudo revolution and advocacy of violence. We cannot then cry foul when he advocated or reported to have advocated or cheered violence by the JVP . Lasantha was not some great social justice seeker but a spiteful tabloid journalist enamoured first by Anura B and then by Ranil W. He raked mud and did have the courage to expose corruption in more of tabloid type journalism.
    Sadly there are others who were also silenced who also deserve mention. However, why would the regime that is hugely popular with the masses be so dumb as to kill him? Is it not logically feasible to think the only beneficiary is the LTTE? Remember how they killed Lalith Athulathmudali? I say sad and sorry that people need to die like this. SL is beyond repair and beyond hope. Almost everyone has a gun and people will kill for as little as 50,000 rupees. The society is immune to violence and this story will disappear from the headlines like all the other horrible killings including Vijaya Kumaratunge's by the murderous JVP with whom Richard was in cahoots. Vijaya was a visionary.

  • Nalin Caldera

    I have enjoyed this site and it is clean and any one could make a comment from their hearts. I pray that things should change for the better and also there be freedom of the press as well as the security of the ones that bring us the news. I was also touch by the Poem by Francesca.
    I would like to add a poem which I have composed

    Freedom of Expression
    The freedom one treasures is a belonging to each one
    It is grabbed & tarnished by force but to account for, there is no one
    So many have lost their lives trying to reveal that what’s true
    In the midst of all this, freedom of expression is what we need to do

    Many well known figures like Richard & Lasantha, are no more
    All their efforts and sweat & blood spilled, was never in vain
    Everything that happened, one day will be revealed like a open door
    Great reporters are made and losing them so early was a shame

    Thank you Richard, Lasantha for all your efforts & sacrifice
    You will be remembered always of your lives that were laid for a price
    Every government that ruled made promises to allow freedom of expression
    But never have we seen them kept and there is no freedom of expression