A Sinhalese journalist and member of the Free Media Movement, Athula Whitanage was accused in 2008 of being an enemy of the government because he was trying to bring the Tamil and Sinhalese communities closer together. As a result, he could not work freely without exposing himself to danger.
In 2009, he sought refuge in India, where Reporters Without Borders provided him with a considerable administrative support and helped to get him to France. “After being given accommodation for six months in the Residence for Journalists in Paris, I had nowhere to go but Reporters Without Borders continued to help me. The organization has meant a lot to me.”
Nowadays, Whitanage works for a Tamil radio station that broadcasts by satellite.