Eranga Jayawardena, a Sri Lankan photographer, and Rafiq Maqbook, an Indian photographer from Kashmir, have won the Pulitzer Prize for 2023, has announced.

Both are on the staff of the Associated Press (AP).

Eranga Jayawardena was born on April 11, 1978, and brought up in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and has been a witness and a recorder through news photography of key natural, socio-political and entertainment events for more than 20 years of his life. Eranga in 1996 started taking up assignments while still at school for major local newspapers in Colombo and they mostly comprised of politically motivated ethnicity-based violent events.

In 2002 Eranga joined Associated Press and has been responsible for the photographic coverage of Sri Lanka and neighbouring Maldives. He has covered the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004, Sri Lanka’s brutal civil war and human rights issues, the Commonwealth Games 2010 held in New Delhi, the London Olympics in 2012, the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, a Public referendum in the Maldives to transform the state into a multi-party democracy after 30 years of one-party rule are some of his significant assignments that got a global reach.

Eranga is a diplomate in photography earned from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka and has master’s qualifications in Economic Development, Conflict and Peace Studies from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Rafiq Maqbool has been based in Mumbai, India since 2009. For AP he has covered some of South Asia’s most troubled hotspots including his homeland of Kashmir. He has extensively documented militancy and violence at its height in the late 1990s including the Kargil war between India and Pakistan, as well as the devastating earthquake of 2005 in the region.

Besides Kashmir, Rafiq has also covered assignments such as the conflict in Afghanistan for over a decade and was based full-time in Kabul between 2007- 2009. Rafiq has also covered the Bangladesh floods of 2004 and the tsunami-affected regions in Sri Lanka in 2005. He was there in 2009 to cover the end of the Sri Lankan civil war and most recently in 2022, to document yet again, another political upheaval in the country.

Being based in Mumbai Rafiq has been documenting every aspect of life in the bustling metropolis from street photography to business, Bollywood, politics and countless cricket matches.


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