On 8 January 2015, the people of Sri Lanka elected a new president. The date also marked the sixth anniversary of the murder of journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge, a critic of the regime which has now been replaced.
Let us start with a few clear parameters. Murderous violence is always wrong and does as much damage to its perpetrators as to its victims. Freedom of expression is at the heart of the free society and must ever be defended. But with that right come responsibilities and an obligation to discernment and humility.
Twelve people were murdered yesterday (7 January) in an appalling attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. This has inflamed religious and ethnic tensions, as the killers are believed to be violent Islamist extremists.