Tamil language journalists form association

[TamilNet, Sunday, 09 May 1999, 20:26 GMT]
Sri Lankan Tamil language journalists formed their own media organisation today. More than sixty five Tamil language journalists, broadcasters, TV presenters etc., gathered this evening at the Ramakrishna mission hall to form the Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance.

In an introductory note, the editor of the Tamil daily, Thinakkural, Mr. Sivenesachelvan said that Tamil journalists face discrimination and encounter many difficulties in carrying out their duties on account of the fact that they are Tamil media persons.

He pointed out how Sinhala dominance in other Sri Lankan media organisations had impelled Tamil language journalists to form an organisation that would represent and fight for their interests.

Others who spoke at the meeting reflected similar sentiments. Mr.S Gurunathan, Trincomalee correspondent for the Thinakkural, Sunday Times, Midweek Mirror and one of the senior founding editorial members of the Jaffna daily Uthayan was unanimously elected the President of the Tamil Media Alliance (TMA).

Mr.Gurunathan has been a journalist for forty years, starting his career in 1959.

Mr.Ilayathamby Thayanatha of the state radio station, the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC), Mr.R.Sadakopan of the Virakesari (Tamil daily) and Mr. S. Kaneshan of the state run Tamil daily Thinakaran were elected as Vice Presidents of the TMA.

Mr.Poopalaratnam Seevahan, assistant news editor of Thinakkural and one of the convenors of today's meeting was elected secretary and P.Sivakumar of the editorial board of Sarinihar was elected treasurer.

The post of assistant secretary was contested by M. Dunstan of the Shakthi FM station and Mr. S. Manoranjan who is an active member of the University Teacher's for Human Rights-Jaffna (UTHR-J), the Movement for Inter Racial Justice and Equality (MIRJE) Mr.Manoranjan was appointed by the PA regime as a director and program advisor of the state run TV station, the Rupavahini.

He is also the editor of the Tamil monthly magazine Amuthu, published by the state owned Associated Newspapers (Lake House). A vote on the post was taken among the journalists present in which Mr.Dunstan won.

The Tamil program director of the state run TV station who was elected as one of the two assistant secretaries, later declined his post saying that his organisation may object to his holding such a position. Mr.S. Senthilvelavar of the Thinakaran was elected to the post.

Many who were present at the meeting urged that the regions of the north east should be given due representation and prominence in the TMA. Accordingly, representatives from the regions were elected to the executive committee of the organisation.

They are:

Miss. Satsoroopavathy Nathan (SLBC)

Mr.R.Pathmanathan (editorial, Thinamurasu)

Mr.A.L.M Saleem (Ampara)

Mr.P. Manickavasagar (Vauniya)

Mr. S.T Thiyagarajah (Hill country)

Mr.G. Nadesan (Batticaloa)

Mr. R. Yogarajan (SLBC)

Mr.Mylvaganam Sarvananda (SLBC)

Mr.Mervyn Mahesan (Sooriyan FM)

Mr.A.K Jeevakadas (Jaffna)


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