World Press Freedom Day observed in Jaffna
[TamilNet, Sunday, 03 May 2009, 16:15 GMT]
“It is of great importance that the World Press Freedom Day is celebrated in Jaffna peninsula where press freedom is completely restricted,” Chief guest of the event, C. V. K. Sivagnanam, the president of Jaffna peninsula NGOs Federation, said in the event organized by North Ceylon Journalists’ Association (NCJA) Sunday around 10:30 a. m in Jaffna University Media Training Centre, chaired by NCJA President, V. Kathirkamathamby. The portraits of the slain journalists of Jaffna peninsula and Tharmaratnam Sivaram, Tharaki, from Batticaloa and late senior journalists were unveiled in the NCJA office in the Media Training Centre at the beginning of the event, sources in Jaffna said. Veteran media photographer, Changkarakambar Kahiravelu, 76, was honoured for his continuing dedicated service to the media for the past 45 years, in the event.
Changkarakambar Kathiravelu, the veteran media photographer.
“No journalist shall offer his life for his vocation in Jaffna peninsula; as journalists they have a historical obligation to reveal the truth from being hidden,” Sivagnanam said in his address.
“Despite the existing restrictions and pressure the journalists and the media should be alive to write the truth; they must serve with dedication to gather the truth and publish it one day,” he further said.
“Despite warnings by International Organizations that Jaffna peninsula is a place where press freedom is totally restricted the media and journalists in Jaffna actively continue to perform their duty even amidst restrictions and pressure,” NCJA president Kathirkamathamby said.
Hundreds of persons including newspaper editors, media persons and media activists participated in the event which concluded around 1:00 p.m.
The portraits of the assassinated Jaffna peninsula journalists, Mylvaganam Nirmalarajan, Aiyathurai Nadesan, Selvarajah Rajivarman, Paranirubasingham Thevakumar and Bala Nadarajah Aiyar were ceremoniously unveiled in the NCJA office.
Special tribute was paid to ‘Tharaki’ Tharmaratnam Sivaram, a unique and talented journalist both in Tamil and English media, who paid with his life to his vocation, when his portrait was unveiled.
Portraits of the late senior editors who had rendered remarkable service to the media too were unveiled in the event.
Changkarakambar Kathiravelu, the veteran media photographer, born on 16 August 1933, had begun his service in 1952 for Thinakaran and in Suthanthiran where he worked with many media personalities including Suthanthiran editor, Sivapragasam.
Kathiravelu, though 76, actively continues in his vocation serving Thinakaran, and the Jaffna dailies Uthayan and Yarl Thinakural.
C. V. K. Sivagnanam, the president of Jaffna NGOs Federation had arranged the honouring of Changarakambar Kathiravelu’s dedicated service to the media.
Prizes were awarded to the winners of the essay competition held in connection with the event.