Iqbal Athas, Sri Lanka, has been a journalist for more than 45 years, and currently serves as Political Editor at Sri Lanka’s largest privately-owned Sunday English weekly newspaper, the Sunday Times. As Consultant Editor – Defence Correspondent he covered Sri Lanka’s separatist war between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels.
Athas is also the Sri Lankan correspondent for CNN and the Colombo correspondent for several international newspapers and magazines, including Jane’s Defence Weekly.
In 1994, Athas received the Committee to Protect Journalists’ International Press Freedom Award for his in-depth and independent coverage of the Sri Lankan military, despite great risk to himself and his family. In February 1998, after Athas’ column exposed large-scale military corruption, five armed military men forced their way into his home, assaulting a guard and a member of the household staff. Citing his “consistently good coverage of one of the most important aspects of Sri Lankan society,” the Editor’s Guild of Sri Lanka named Athas Journalist of the Year 1998.