June 10, 2009

Splitting heads and hairs, Sri Lankan style

“Thanks to you and others, who was taking pics world can remember the sufferings!”. The words are from an email a stranger sent me recently, and should be heart-warming for an old photojournalist who’s packing up to leave struggling Sri Lanka for a while. But the message is about a war that ended 15 years […]

June 2, 2009

Magnanimous Mahinda and the Foreign Media Mob

Some little man in a Colombo cafe started shouting abuse at me the other day. I don’t know him, and I don’t know why. That sort of thing is very rare here, but perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised, given the current "you’re either with us or against us" climate. The vast majority of the Sri […]

May 1, 2009

May you live long, but not here

"Ayubowan", is the first word a visitor to Sri Lanka hears on arrival. These days one could be forgiven for thinking it means something very rude. It doesn’t, and the increasingly rare tourist would probably not suspect any hostility behind the still ever-present smiles. Until, that is, she or he makes the mistake of picking […]

January 13, 2009

And then they came for me

Lasantha Wickrematunge, the editor of the Sri Lanka newspaper The Sunday Leader who was murdered on Sunday, wrote his own farewell letter days before he was murdered. I blogged about his brutal murder on 8 January, but I am posting his final editorial in full here, No other profession calls on its practitioners to lay […]