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Veterans felicitated at SLPA Anniversary Celebrations

2018-12-06 00:00:19
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The recipients of the D. F. Kariyakarawana Memorial Awards 2018

The right to information, together with freedom of expression and criticism, are fundamental liberties of every human being. At times of uncertainty, journalists are often the sole protectors of our freedom. A gathering of such journalists, who toil to protect the rights of the citizen, saw the felicitation of ten veteran journalists, at the 63rd anniversary celebrations of the Sri Lanka Press Association.   

The event was graced by distinguished guests and eminent media personalities. The guest of honour, First Secretary of the Indian High Commission Niteen S. Yeola and SLPA President Muditha Kariyakarawana presented the scribes of the evening with the D.F. Kariyakarawana Memorial Award.   

Former Daily Mirror Legal Editor M.J.M. Zarook felicitated at the ceremony

Dr. Edwin Ariyadasa, Seetha Ranjani, S Thilainathan, Furkhan B. Iftikar, Buddhika Kurukularatne, Sumana Nellampitiya, K. Rupasinghe and Denagama Siriwardena were awarded for their contributions to the profession. This year’s recipients also included the late Sarath Malalasekara whose distinguished service at Lake House was remembered by many present. A veteran journalist with over 60 years of service, Malalasekara passed away earlier in November. He was 84 at the time of his demise.   
Former Daily Mirror Legal Editor 

The Sri Lanka Press Association was founded by then editor of the ‘Navalokaya’ magazine and recipient of the Lenin Peace Prize, Ven. Udakendawala Siri Saranankara Thera

M. J. M. Zarook was among the veterans felicitated at the event. 88-year-old Zarook who began his journalism career at the Times of Ceylon, made his way to becoming a well known figure among readers and the press community alike, owing to his precise and accurate reporting of the Bandaranaike’s assassination case. At the invitation of pioneer journalist D.B. Dhanapala, Zarook also penned columns for ‘Vanitha Viththi’ the women’s magazine. An exceptional journalist, He later joined the Lake House where he served until his retirement. Zarook was acknowledged for the kindness bestowed upon newcomers to the field.   

SLPA President Muditha Kariyakarawana, (L) First Secretary, Indian High Commission Niteen Yeola (C) and SLPA Secretary Sisira Wijesinghe

Secretary General of the Association Sisira Wijesinghe addressing the gathering noted that the services of the journalists who were felicitated at the event were exemplary to many. He also thanked Indian journalists attending the event, hailing new horizons of friendship and cooperation between the two countries. Hemant Tiwari of the Indian Federation of Working Journalists took the opportunity to voice the need to bring journalists from the SAARC region to one platform. He added that the challenges faced by these countries were often similar in nature and therefore such a coalition would benefit the region and its journalists.  

The event was graced by distinguished guests and eminent media personalities

The Sri Lanka Press Association was founded by then editor of the ‘Navalokaya’ magazine and recipient of the Lenin Peace Prize, Ven. Udakendawala Siri Saranankara Thera together with the then Deputy Editor of the Communist Party newspaper ‘Mawbima’,Hema de Silva. A result of the continued toil of the former Chief Editor of “Dinamina” the late D. F. Kariyakarawana, SLPA is the oldest media association in the country. 

Senior trilingual journalist Furkhan B. Iftikar receiving the award


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