Arundhati Roy joins call to boycott Lanka literary festival

Calling all Women Authors,

Controversial Indian author Arundhati Roy has joined fellow writers in calling for a boycott of a literary festival in Sri Lanka to protest alleged rights abuses and suppression of dissent in the country.

Roy signed up a petition initiated by the Paris-based Reporters without Borders (RSF) urging world class authors to stay away from the Galle Literary Festival which is due to open on January 26.

"We ask you in the great tradition of solidarity that binds writers together everywhere, to stand with your brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka who are not allowed to speak out," the joint appeal said.

It asked the writers to send "a clear message that, unless and until the disappearance of Prageeth Eknaligoda (a local cartoonist who disappeared a year ago) is investigated and there is a real improvement in the climate for free expression in Sri Lanka, you cannot celebrate writing and the arts in Galle."

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