In 2010 was Appuththurai invited to Bergen as their guest writer. He arrived with his wife and son, but concerns of his family´s safety back home made him stay anonymous. He has quietly been working on a book that is now close to 700 pages on what happened in Sri Lanka. As the last reporting journalist inside the warzone Appuththurai travelled around by motorcycle, constantly on the move so he would not be found, and reported to the outside world what happened around him. He has seen thousands of people die and put his own life at risk.
It was during the Courage - conference on freedom of expression in Bergen last week that Appuththurai stood in front of an audience and met the press using his real name for the first time since fleeing Sri Lanka. During the conference he had a short presentation on his background and ongoing work. The conference participants also learned about his work through the screening of Silenced Voices, a documentary on Sri Lankan journalists in exile by Beate Arnestad. In addition to Appuththurai the documentary features interviews with Sonali Samarasinghe, the widow of assassinated Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunge, Bashana Abeywardane and his wife Sharmila Logeswaram.
Among the other speakers at the conference was Peter Normann Waage from Norwegian PEN. He delivered a speech entitled Why have free speech when it creates so much noise?, you can read it here.