Writers can have an impact

Sri Lanka is currently in the middle of military and civil chaos, with the regime causing untold civilian misery.

One prominent Tamil is calling the campaign against her people “genocide.”

In the midst of this uncertainty, the Galle Literary Festival recently took place, with prominent writers including Australian expat Germaine Greer talking about politics, culture and the arts.


The idea that literary figures would visit Sri Lanka at such a time is morally questionable. The regime is undemocratic and running an unscrupulous campaign against its oppressed minority.

Any writers who attended a literary festival in Israel during the Gaza war would equally be challenged to visit a nation and therefore provide implicit or explicit endorsement of a regime committing war crimes.

Writers have a social responsibility to speak forcefully against human rights abuses. They should take a stand, even if they miss some champagne and gourmet dinners.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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