These drawings have as their motif simply two texts combined; Lasantha Wickramatunge's Letter from the Grave and exerpts from the book of Job. One text is written/drawn from the left in one color and the other from the right in another color. Who was Lasantha Wickramatunge? He was a journalist and news paper editor from Sri Lanka who was gunned down execution style on his way to work in January of 2009. He had many warning signs that he was marked for execution and thus wrote a letter, to be published upon his death which implicated his government in his murder. He refused to take action to arm or protect himself against this threat as it would only make him equal to those who choose weapons over discourse.
Exerpts from Lasantha Wickramatunge's Letter:
And Then They Came For Me..
"No other profession calls on its practitioners to lay down their lives for their art save the armed forces and, in Sri Lanka, journalism. In the course of the past few years, the independent media have increasingly come under attack. Electronic and print-media institutions have been burnt, bombed, sealed and coerced. Countless journalists have been harassed, threatened and killed. It has been my honor to belong to all those categories and now especially the last."
"Why then do we do it? I often wonder that. After all, I too am a husband, and the father of three wonderful children. I too have responsibilities and obligations that transcend my profession, be it the law or journalism. Is it worth the risk? Many people tell me it is not. Friends tell me to revert to the bar, and goodness knows it offers a better and safer livelihood. Others, including political leaders on both sides, have at various times sought to induce me to take to politics, going so far as to offer me ministries of my choice. Diplomats, recognizing the risk journalists face in Sri Lanka, have offered me safe passage and the right of residence in their countries. Whatever else I may have been stuck for, I have not been stuck for choice.
But there is a calling that is yet above high office, fame, lucre and security. It is the call of conscience..."