RICHARD DE SOYZA
A short description of Richard de Soyza
Richard de Soyza was an international Journalist who devoted his time and then sacrificed his life for the rights and life security of the people of his country, Sir Lanka. Being a journalist he could have kept himself within the traditional limits of journalism. But he, exceeding the old framework of the professional journalist, focussed his attention towards the real life situation within the island. His conscience did not satisfy, nor his intellect did, being merely a journalist.
The UNP govt which was ruling the country at that time, came to power in1977. It was obvious that the leaders of UNP could not prevent the country from becoming a pandemonium owing to the economic crisis. The situation was paving its way to a political crisis. The revolutionary political trend developed in the country made the govt's big shots mad. Since the people of Sri Lanka could not find a way out of the misery other than fighting back, the revolutionaries were having the people's support. The revolt against the makers of the social crisis grew stronger and Richard, took the people's side in his duty as an international journalist.
He could see the people of Sri Lanka, his fellow countrymen , facing death in all aspects their life. Death squads in various names, Black Cats. Yellow Cats, Green Tigers, Blue Tigers, Eagles, Hawkes etc. were threatening the day today life of the common people. They combed the Sri Lankan community from rural to urban, coastal to hill country and townships to jungles searching for the revolutionary insurgents. Having unable to succeed in their mission to irradicate leftist revolutionary activists, they were ordered to arrest the youth suspects at random, driving the lifestyle of Sir Lanka, in to a dreadful nightmare. Richard's work as an international journalist, perform an important role within this political reality.
His duty was to reveal the deadly truth of his motherland Sri Lanka, where state suppression was at large leading a holocaust. But before he could go on revealing the actual political condition to the outside world as an international journalist, he himself became one of the victims of brutal suppression of the ruling UNP regime of which actually he was revealing the truth to the world community.
He was abducted in the early morning of 18th February 1989. Later his dead body floated ashore at Koralawella beach, (towards south of Colombo, the capital city) in the evening of the same day. Even he was asassinated, the duty he tried to perform has made his fame. He is an internationally honoured journalist, despite of various slanderous posthumous allegations against him.
Here we with all the Sri Lankans commemorate him, not only for his duty as a journalists but also for his deliberate devotion towards the people of Sri Lanka.