George Thomas is a senior journalist with over a quarter century experience in active journalism for Malayala Manorama, with a circulation of over 1.6 million copies the second largest selling daily newspaper in India. Currently he is assistant editor and serves on the editorial board. He was an accredited correspondent to the US presidential election in 1992, President Clinton’s presidential inauguration in 1993 and the India-US Nuclear Negotiations in Washington DC in 2006. His current responsibilities include writing editorials, commentaries, analyses, in-depth reports on international issues, peace and security, environment, climate change, and human rights.
The lives of marginalized communities never come to public discourse when globalization calls the day. To artisanal groups like the fishing community in Kerala, India, who are the subject of Thomas George's article, their tale is one of deprivation caused by nature and man. Driven out of their homes by sea erosion and natural calamities, fishermen of coastal Kerala find themselves at the mercy of apathetic rulers. They have been robbed of their livelihood and face undignified living conditions. After the publication of this report, the Kerala state government announced protective measures for the fishing community: millions of Rupees have been earmarked for building houses, and their construction has begun.Read article
Raghu Karnad moved to New Delhi to work for the Public Interest Legal Support and Research Centre, where he researched refugee law and drafted the Assisted Reproductive Technologies Bill (Regulation Bill, 2006). From October 2006 to February 2007, he wrote for Outlook magazine in New Delhi, and since then he has worked on a freelance basis, writing primarily for Tehelka magazine in New Delhi. He reports mainly on issues of freedom of speech and political rights.
"Air, Water, Earth And The Sins Of The Powerful" is an article about the ongoing contamination of groundwater by toxic waste left at the site of the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal - the site of the worst industrial disaster in history. Medical symptoms of poisoning are now rampant in local communities. Protesting the government's failure to clean up the site and its efforts to exonerate Dow Chemicals from trial, survivors marched from Bhopal to Delhi in April 2008. Raghu Karnad's article was the only English print story to cover the march or the contamination crisis. Within a month, the Prime Minister acceded to the survivors' main demands and agreed to make Dow Chemical face trial.Read article
Aries Rufo is a senior staff writer at Newsbreak. He covers subjects ranging from human rights to the judiciary, politics, the Church, and labour issues. His prize-winning story is an account of the unabated killings of judges in the Philippines and the slow response of authorities to the problem. In his article, Rufo explores what lies behind the recent killings and what emboldened the culprits to strike fear into the very people who are supposed to administer justice. His story touches on several pertinent issues, ranging from the deteriorating respect and trust for law to negligent police work, poor security conditions in the courts and for members of the court. The government’s apathetic attitude towards the killings also comes under the spotlight.