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Ramachandran Sanath

Ramachandran Sanath

HRD, Journalist
Sri Lanka Working Journalist Association

Ramachandran Sanath is an independent Tamil journalist, human rights defender, and advocate for the rights of plantation workers based in Kandy, Sri Lanka. He held the position of the executive treasurer and currently serves as an executive member of the Sri Lanka Working Journalist Association. He has previously worked for the Tamil-language daily print newspaper "Sudaroli", and the news website "Malayaga Kuruvi”. Ramachandran Sanath presently works as a parliament correspondent for Uthayan, and serves as an international correspondent for Ethiroli, an Australian Tamil news website. He is known for his outspoken criticism of government policies. Apart from his work as a journalist, Ramachandran Sanath actively writes about social issues and the human rights issues pertaining to Indian-origin Tamils in Sri Lanka. Furthermore, he has been actively involved in protesting and advocating for land rights and fair wages for plantation workers.

Despite the end of the armed conflict with the Tamil Tigers in 2009, strict security laws are in force and the situation for HRDs working on enforced disappearances, torture and land rights remains critical. HRDs seeking accountability for violations committed by both parties to the conflict face serious risks, including death threats, smear campaigns, judicial harassment, torture, enforced disappearance and killing. The army has also imposed some restrictions on assembly in Tamil regions. Impunity for crimes against HRDs is a major concern, since the current government shows no real intention to hold security forces responsible for the crimes they committed against HRDs and journalists during the civil war and the Rajapaksa years. Press freedom remains fragile, as journalists still face difficulties covering certain topics and are subject to harassment and intimidation. The revival of the Press Council - widely employed under Rajapaksa to target independent voices - in July 2015 has also alarmed HRDs.