Sonali wins 2009 Oxfam Novib/PEN International Freedom of Expression Award

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Wednesday, November 18th, 2009
Aunty S

Sonali

Sonali Wickrematunge, former Editor in Chief of ‘The Morning Leader' and former Consultant Editor of ‘The Sunday Leader' was awarded this year's Oxfam Novib/PEN International Freedom of Expression award, in recognition of her courage in raising difficult issues about abuse of power and corruption.

She joins four others who will receive awards. They are: Chi Dang (Vietnam), Maziar Bahari (Iran), Irakli Kakabadze (Georgia) and Daniel Coronell (Colombia).

The award was publicly announced at a ceremony on November 18 in The Hague. "I am proud and humbled to receive this award," she said in a written statement. "As a journalist, it serves as a validation of my work but also significantly, the award will serve as a grim reminder to the world of the continuous suppression of Press Freedom and violation of basic human rights, in countries like Sri Lanka.

I was compelled to flee my country due to threats, after my colleague and husband, well known Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge was assassinated in January this year. This award encourages and emboldens me to continue his vision and my campaign and activism."

Courtesy: The Island