Lasantha Wickrematunge was an important Sri Lankan journalist, activist, and politician. He started entering the political world through journalism writing for the Island and Sun newspapers. He started the Sunday Leader, an English language weekly newspaper, with his brother in 1994. He also worked for Time magazine as a reporter. The Sunday Leader began reporting and exposing corruption by government ministers, causing Lasantha and his family to begin getting threats and attacks. He received a funeral wreath and a newspaper with red paint saying "If you write you will be killed". In 2009, he was shot on his way to work and died three weeks later from head wounds.
The International Press Institute named Lasantha as a World Press Freedom Hero in 2010. He also won the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize in 2009. He won the American National Press Club's John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award and the James Cameron Memorial Trust Award.
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