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Sasikaran Punniyamoorthy

Sasikaran Punniyamoorthy

HRD, Journalist
Batti Press Club

Sasikaran Punniyamoorthy is a human rights defender and a freelance regional journalist based in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka. He is the treasurer of the Batti Press Club and worked as the Batticalao district coordinator for the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NAFSO), a national organization working for the welfare of fisher folks. He has been actively reporting on social, political and environmental injustices in the Eastern province. He has been supportive of issues concerning human rights, environmental rights and has written several news articles to Tamil news papers and websites. Due to his legitimate human rights activism and journalism he has been targeted by the Batticaloa police, summoned for interrogation and has received several court orders restricting his right to protest. Sasikaran has also suffered many online attacks and had several visits by state intelligence officers to his residence.

The situation for human Rights Defenders has significantly improved since Maithripala Sirisena came to power in January 2015, with improved conditions for freedom of expression, civil society and judicial independence. The Sirisena administration has ushered in a broad reversal of the country’s authoritarian drift under Mahinda Rajapaksa, but human rights defenders fighting against corruption, enforced disappearances or defending environmental rights remain at great risk.