Dare to be different

Ajith P. Perera, Chief Organiser, Bandaragama, UNP – අධිනීතිඥ අජිත් පී. පෙරේරා, ප්‍රධාන සංවිධායක, බණ්ඩාරගම, එක්සත් ජාතික පක්ෂය

Sri Lankan journalist Sonali Samarasinghe wins international award

Posted by Ajith on September 16, 2008

Sonali Samarasinghe’s work to reveal misuse of power and corruption in Sri Lanka made her the second winner of the Global Shining Light Award in Norway at the weekend.

“I cannot accept this prize without remembering my colleagues in Sri Lanka. This year, 12 journalists have been killed, and one has been held hostage for 180 days,” Sonali Samarasinghe said when she came to stage to receive the award.

Her colleague, J.S. Tissanayagam has been in custody for 180 days, detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

Samarasinghe was awarded for her articles on “Gangsterism and the faulty legal system” for The Sunday Leader in Sri Lanka.

Sonali Samarasinghe and the Sunday Leader decided enough was enough.

What started out as an attempt to follow-up on the beating of a bar patron by the son and bodyguards of a powerful government minister became an investigation that exposed how that government minister used his power and connections to the Prime Minister, to run roughshod over the media and the justice system.

Samarasinghe tracked down all the people connected to the beating and in the process found many other people, including police officers and lawyers with stories of corruption and brutality by the government minister and his son.

“Hopefully, this award will show that our work does not pass unnoticed internationally,” the prize-winning journalist said on stage.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists gives out the award, which is in the memory of the Wall Street journal journalist Daniel Pearl, who was slain by Pakistani militants in 2002.


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6 Responses to “Sri Lankan journalist Sonali Samarasinghe wins international award”

  1. Sleepless effort of disgracing our motherland, finally pays dividends in Norway! Way to go Sonali!

    I know u are not going to approve this comment. But I had my say! You heard it. No one can deny that :-)

  2. Nadesan said

    Is exposing a crook who shamelessly robs the country a disgrace to motherland?

    The country is people. The county is not government. If the government is corrupted it is the duty of the journalist to expose such crooks at international level. That was how they got rid of Marcos.

    Congratulations, Sonali. You have done your job for the motherland. Ignore the hurrah boys of crooks.

  3. Hougang said

    “Sleepless effort of disgracing our motherland”

    yeah rite!

    Yet another one of those dumb buggers who think patriotism=licking Rajapaksa’s ass and being proud about it.

    If what was written in the article is true, then thumbs up for her for being so brave amidst all the threats to her life that this will bring in. Very commendable action!

  4. [...] Sri Lanka was Sonali Samarasinghe- Wickramatunga. She is Lasantha Wickramatunga’s widow and a celebrated journalist in her own right who has earned accolades for exposing corruption in Sri [...]

  5. Tamiya said

    I salute Sonali Samarasinghe and Lasantha Wickramatunga.

    People like them give voice to the silenced ones, regardless if they are from Sinhalese or Tamils in Sri Lanka.

    Thank you.

    “Disgracing your motherland?” The motherland is not constituted by Rajapaksa brothers and Sinhalese extremists. There are many educated, reasonable Sinhalese out there who identify injustice for what it is. They make the motherland proud. They make Buddha proud. All this blood in Buddha’s hands and you think Buddha taught this violence in his guidance? People like you with extreme views disgrace the motherland.

  6. I will listen said

    Voice in Colombo,

    Could you please elaborate on your comment.

    Best Wishes

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