The Malta Independent 23 September 2019, Monday

Lost for words

Andrew Azzopardi Wednesday, 18 October 2017, 08:04 Last update: about 3 years ago

I really am lost for words. 

What happened on Monday afternoon is not only an act of aggression but also an attack on all of us who try to articulate ideas, chase stories, ask questions, try to understand social truths.  All of this is not just about Daphne’s assassination, this is about a State that has failed to protect us, it is about the Institutions that have been weakened by a dialectic of hostility. 

We need to re-group in this country.  We have a moral predicament of mammoth proportions. 

I have said so many times these last months, the political discourse we are using is going to take us back to the 80’s and so it did. 

We are split. We are at odds.  We are being torn apart by the language that the political class has been using, turning this country into a big gag.   

I’m up to my nose with the way we have pulled our country down into the gutters. 

Let it be made clear. All of this has not started on Monday 16 October at 3pm when Daphne Caruana Galizia was blown up, it has been going on for months and years.  The intimidation, bullying strong-arming and duress that journalists and presenters have and are being subjected to, is no new situation.

Nothing more from this end.  This situation is nauseating.  

(These are some of the comments I came across on social media that I would like to share)

 

‘There are some people in life who you disagree with, some people who you just love to argue with/about. Daphne Caruana Galizia was one of them. Upon hearing the news, I cannot but express shock and absolute horror at today's heinous crime. I am utterly speechless. We cannot live in a society were people are attacked and killed for airing their thoughts. One hopes that the perpetrators are brought to justice!’ – Jeremy J. Camilleri

 

‘“Journalism can never be silent: that is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault. It must speak, and speak immediately, while the echoes of wonder, the claims of triumph and the signs of horror are still in the air.” - Henry Anatole Grunwald

Darkest days define a country’s true virtues.

A sad day for journalism, a sad day for Malta.’ – Karl Azzopardi

 

‘Daphne's last words to me, a few days ago. She was encouraging me to leave Malta and make the most of what's left. Now, that's not going to happen. Now, we fight back.

“....I get a sense of time running out.  There are so many things I wanted to do that I haven’t done”– DCG – Caroline Muscat

 

‘I join the many who wish they can somehow share in the deep sense of loss and grief that the Caruana Galizia family has been thrown into. They lost a most loving mother, wife, daughter and sibling. Our sincere condolences. You are all so much in our thoughts and prayers.

I appreciate the words of sympathy coming from all quarters and the appeals for national unity and a show of solidarity. We are all under shock and feeling lost. All citizens are expecting impartial, independent, professional investigations. The Prime Minister did well to call in expert foreign assistance to work side by side with the Maltese authorities in the hope of clearly establishing the dynamics of this brutal crime and possibly identifying the culprit/s to bring them to justice. But even if all this were to succeed, the family in particular, and the Maltese in general, will never get Daphne back.

There are questions that we need to answer: Was this brutal murder avoidable? There is no doubt that this is a murder with evident political connotations. Daphne has often spoken about the danger she was running with the investigations she was carrying on, with her journalistic reporting and with the Running Commentary in which she fearlessly exposed all that resulted to her and her reflections and questions on it. She even reported threats to her safety and life and to her family to the police. What protection did the police provide?

Daphne was a classic case of a person who required State protection. ...’ - Dr Louis Galea

 

‘I do not think that Daphne's assassination was out of revenge, but to silence. If you want to exert revenge, you aim to maim, to 'teach a lesson', not plant the biggest bomb ever. This points to all out elimination. Now I never believed that Daphne's blog is the work of one person. It was/is an organization. So, I hope her colleagues (faceless as they may be) find the courage to continue their work which clearly threatens some powerful assassins. Please, do not be silenced. The country, indeed the world, needs you.’ – Marco Cremona

 

‘There have been 47 journalists and media professionals killed in the line of duty during 2017 alone. We just witnessed the 48th, on our front porch. Screw sadness and fear. It's time to get angry.’ – Matthew Charles Zammit

 

‘I hope people realize that when a news item from a tiny island makes it to the New York Times, BBC, the Guardian, Euronews and all the Italian news sites it means this is something colossal and not just any murder ... let’s protect our rule of law and freedom of speech and of the press. These are the foundations of a democracy. Without them we have nothing. I’ve seen posts saying how DCG was vicious with her words, attacked people’s medical conditions and mental health etc. That may all have been true and I, for one, did not like her style but you would be a fool if you think for one second that it was her vicious gossip that got her killed. People are not car bombed for spreading tabloid style gossip.’ – Dr Andrea Dibben

 

‘We are now all silenced...’ – Victor Calleja

 

‘So many are making very lovely bold claims like ‘we shall not be silenced’. May I suggest that such people stop placing themselves in Daphne’s shoes which, from where I stand, are impossible to be filled in my lifetime. They sound like fellow warriors who have brushed shoulders with her on the battlefield; whereas I suspect they were sipping their tea whilst reading her blogs out of sheer voyeurism or in eager search for gossip-fodder. Corridor-whisperers cannot insult Daphne’s memory more than by making grandstand mottos for the sake of it. Whether one liked her ways or not, one cannot but acknowledge that in her crusades, she had no problem with standing alone, despite the fear she surely did feel as a woman, wife and mother. I seriously doubt she was fearless as many are suggesting. Indeed, her justified fear would have made her cause infinitely more worthy. She was simply more resolute than us all. And guess what? Harsh as it may sound; she has been silenced. Because evil has that power, make no mistake about it! I neither have the skill, and more importantly nor the guts to claim that I will not be silenced, especially after the horrific scenes which unfolded yesterday. So please, stop insulting Daphne’s memory from the comfort of your own little corner. Let us leave such claims to the very rare heroes, and not thread on them like waste.’ – Josef Bonello

 

‘Saddened and shocked with the news of the brutal murder of Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. A dark day for democracy. A tragic blow for freedom of expression and freedom of speech.’ – Fr Philip Chircop

 

‘How did we get to here? Let's start with the (relatively) small things - will this police officer mouthing off on facebook be held to account? A culture of impunity prevails, with zero sense of democratic accountability. There is no trust in our political institutions. We do not live in a strong democracy, and we won't until we move beyond political partisanship, stand up and hold political institutions, actors and public officials to account. If ever there was a time NOT to act as an individual it is now. It's time to take a stand as a citizen and demand change. This is our right.’ – Dr Mari Pisani

 

‘So many calls for the country to be united at this tragic moment in its history. But shouldn't the country already be united behind fundamental freedoms and the values of liberty, justice and rule of law? If these aren't strong enough notions to unite the people of this island shouldn't we seriously be asking ourselves why that is, and why we let ourselves get here?’ – Patrick Galea

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