The Malta Independent 13 November 2018, Tuesday

My tribute to Daphne

Timothy Alden Sunday, 14 October 2018, 09:52 Last update: about 29 days ago

I have been thinking about this article for months, looking for the right words to discuss the terrible subject of Daphne Caruana Galizia's brutal assassination. There is no easy way to discuss this tragedy, which has so obviously divided people. I have never before witnessed such base hatred, disrespect and scorn exchanged between such a large number of people. However, I am going to share my primary reason for attending her vigils and the marches for truth and justice. One may find that it is a reason which should draw people from every political party, or at least every person of principle in Malta.

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There are two ends on the spectrum of those who respond most strongly to her legacy. On one side, you mostly have people from the Labour Party who see her as a Nationalist with a personal vendetta, in spite of her clear disapproval not only of Delia, but also of a great many Nationalists. At the other end of the scale, you have those who saw her as a perfect champion of truth. What most people seem to forget is that before anything else, Daphne Caruana Galizia was a person. She was a mother, a wife, a daughter, a Maltese journalist. She was a friend, a cousin, a colleague, a neighbour, and so much more. Daphne Caruana Galizia was a human being. A human being was brutally murdered, and I wish to express my solidarity with her family and her friends.

Far too many people have tried to make political capital out of her assassination. Surely enough, when the movement surrounding her ran into new challenges, many opportunists abandoned ship in search of easier pickings elsewhere. Daphne Caruana Galizia must be more to us than the sum of what she wrote or what she represented. She was a person.

Therefore, aware that she may have made mistakes, I address those who feel they were genuinely wronged by her writing. For those who feel they were misrepresented by her, compassion is called for above all. This woman was murdered. Set aside petty grievances in the face of what is a national and personal tragedy. Offer solidarity to her family and friends. Her sons had to witness her dismembered body strewn across a field. If instead, your only grievance is that she attacked a political figure you worship, then wake up, take off your blinkers and rethink your principles. If protecting a fat cat politician is more important than someone's life, then there is an issue. Somebody was murdered in cold blood because of what she stood for.

You did not have to agree with Daphne Caruana Galizia on everything to feel horrified by her fate, by the fact that this was allowed to happen at all in our safe little paradise. What happened to the Malta which we once recognised by the iconic songs Xemx or Maltese Calypso? What happened to the sunny little island we were once so proud to say was full of friendly, welcoming people? Where have all these friendly people vanished to? It has nothing to do with political colours. It has to do with basic human decency. Any decent human being, even if s/he disagreed with Daphne or felt injured by her, should be offering her family all the support, protection and comfort in the world.

The primary reason I attend her vigils is that she was a human being and that she died for what she was fighting for. I want to show my solidarity to her family and friends, and convince the rest of Malta that this tragedy should unite us in compassion. Above all, we must be determined never to let this happen again.

I will continue to fight for truth and for justice. Necessary investigations, which should have taken place by now, have not even begun. That in itself is evidence that something is hidden away. We must keep asking direct and very specific questions. What is obvious to some must become obvious to everybody else. Until these investigations begin, and until we find out who ordered her assassination, I will protest not only for some human decency, but also for truth and for justice for all, equally, before the law.

 


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