Saturday, November 27, 2010

Celebrates Poddala Jayantha's award

Networking for Rights welcomes the recognition of anti-corruption and press freedom activist Poddala Jayantha end_of_the_skype_highlighti who was recently honored with Transparency International's Integrity award 2009-2010.

Poddala Jayantha, who was the General Secretary of the Working Journalists Association in Sri Lanka , braved many a threat for daring to expose corruption and for campaigning for the right to express oneself freely. In January 2008 he escaped an attempt on his life by a group of goons who turned up at his home. He and a colleague were also directly threatened by the Secretary of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Shortly afterwards in June 2009 he was abducted on his way home from work and severely assaulted. The assault left him incapacitated, and he was forced to flee Sri Lanka .
The letter which advised him of the award said “Your commitment to the principles of integrity, transparency and good governance that Transparency International stands for, have been championed through your work in fighting the abuse of power for private gain and serves as an inspiration to others.”

While campaigning for freedom of expression, Poddala also carried out his investigative reporting in the areas of health, transport and education. His greatest expose was on the Value Added Tax misappropriation considered to be Sri Lanka's and South Asia's biggest ever tax scandal. Although he is in exile Poddala continues to campaign to win the basic right of free expressions for the people of Sri Lanka and Networking for Rights celebrates his victory and his perseverance.

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