MALTA, NATIONAL DAY OF MOURNING FOR DAPHNE
Malta observed a national day of mourning in honour of the Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia assassinated on the 16th of October by a bomb placed in her car. The bomb detonated minutes after the journalist left her home in Bidnija.
Hundreds of people paid their respect to the journalist during the funeral held at the Rotunda of Mosta. The journalist’s family decided that the funeral will not be broadcast and prohibited access to local and international media representatives both at the church ceremony and at the cemetery. The Mass was celebrated by the Archbishop of Malta, Charles J. Scicluna.
In his homily, Archbishop Scicluna warned the assassins of Caruana Galizia. “To who has been involved in the assassination of Daphne, I have this message to say to you: however difficult it is to evade legal justice, you can never escape the justice of God. Repent before it is too late!”.
Scicluna also sent a message of hope to journalists. “I encourage you to never tire out in your mission to be the eyes, ears, and mouth of the people. Do this without fear and with full respect to the truth. Dear journalists, we need people in your profession to be free, smart, curious, honest, serene, safe and protected”.
Furthermore the Archbishop asked for solidarity by the Maltese people, “Please stop the disrespectful words with which you can demonize and degenerate. We can enjoy the true freedom and prosperity that comes from solidarity”.
Scicluna gave courage to the sons of Caruana Galizia, Matthew, Andrew and Paul. “Every time your mother was abroad, she used to light a candle in the church for each one of you, a silent prayer of a mother for her children, remember the words of the Gospel announced today, he who speaks the truth comes to light, your beloved mother suffered a cruel death by the hidden hand of someone who wants to put darkness to the light. See that you will always be the children of light.”
The President of the Republic Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca did not attend the ceremony as she was previously informed by a family friend that her presence was not welcome.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and the leader of the Opposition Adrian Delia did not attend either. The Caruana Galizia family made a public announcement that the presence of the Maltese state was not wanted. Muscat and Delia were targeted by the murdered journalist in articles published on her blog accusing them of abuse of power and links with criminals respectively.
On the other hand Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament, was personally invited by the Caruana Galizia family and was present for the religious ceremony.
Following the Maltese Government’s decision to declare a day of national mourning, flags on all government buildings were flying at half-mast.