The Malta Independent 17 November 2018, Saturday

‘Do not let our national conscience go to sleep’ – Lawrence Gonzi

Albert Galea Tuesday, 16 October 2018, 14:26 Last update: about 1 month ago

“Do not let our national conscience go to sleep”, was the call of former Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi during a conference honouring the memory and legacy of Daphne Caruana Galizia on Tuesday, one year since her assassination.

Gonzi spoke of how Malta always was a peace loving island, juxtaposed against a Mediterranean filled with turmoil.  Malta has overcome war, occupation, and economic and financial turmoil, but it has always remained strong in its one unlimited resource; the willingness to help, Gonzi said.

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“But what has happened? Where is our solidarity? Where is our sense of disgust? Our determination to stand by all that we believe even if it costs us all our comfort?”, Gonzi questioned. 

“Daphne’s murder is one that addresses our conscience”, he said.  Continuing, the former Prime Minister said that “we must discard all that is personal and partisan and it should inspire us to seek the common good”.

He said that the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia is about a whole a nation; a nation proud of what it represents; a nation that could sit down wherever it went with pride and not have to utter a single word.  Gonzi concluded by calling for those in power; leader, media and civil society, to look towards decisions that truly seek the common good.

PN MEP David Casa, who organised the conference, also spoke, saying that “if silencing Daphne was their object, then they have failed.  Her voice is stronger than ever before because now, we are all her voice.”

He said that standing against powerful people with endless resources is not easy.  He said that he himself has been a target for a few months now, and that he could not imagine what Daphne had to endure for so many years. However, he made a resilient point; “She would not have backed down, and I give you my word, that neither will I.”

Casa said that Caruana Galizia’s positive impact on society is “immeasurable” and that people admired her tenacity and resilience and marvelled at her dedication and commitment in “exposing sleuths”.  “Her work gave us comfort that wrongdoing would be brought to light, comfort that she kept the government that was meant to serve us in check”, Casa said, and added that he and many others would not rest until justice is done, and until her work is completed.

MEPs Monica Macovei, Stelios Kouloglou and Ana Gomes all addressed the conference as well. They all spoke highly of Caruana Galizia’s bravery and fearlessness in pursuing the truth.  Macovei described the slain journalist as a “one women wiki leaks”, who was amongst the bravest and most courageous of society, doing her work not for herself but for the truth and for freedom.

Each MEP also took aim at allegations of corruption against the government. Kouloglou even questioned recent allegations that Economy Minister Chris Cardona had met with one of the accused, Alfred Degiorgio, before and after the murder took place.  He asked “What were they talking about? The weather? Football?” before going on to say that Cardona had to give a public explanation for what was said during these meetings.

The MEPs, along with BBC journalist John Sweeney, also made a renewed call for an international, independent inquiry into the murder of Caruana Galizia and even into whether her death could have been prevented.

The conference was addressed by various other figures, including activist Pia Zammit, journalist John Zammit, Thomas Gibson from the committee to protect journalists, Pauline Ades-Mevel from Reporters without Borders and artist Joseph Farrugia, whose art was also on display.

 

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