By Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai
The much awaited annual awards ceremony for the journalists in Sri Lanka got under way glamorously last night. Journalism Awards for Excellence 2006 was held at the BMICH on August 7 th 2007.
There have been more than 450 applicants for the awards this year. Journalism Awards for Excellence 2006 was organized by the editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka Press Institute. The awards were selected by a panel of judges comprised of experienced journalists.
This was the first time ever in Sri Lanka where excellence in journalism in all media-print, television and radio. This was recognized by peers at a single event.
The print journalism awards were jointly given by the Sri Lanka Press Institute and the editor’s Guild of Sri Lanka. The recognition of excellence in television and radio was an effort by the Sri Lanka Press Institute.
Moment of jubilation was felt in the hall. All dressed elegantly, recipients were wished by their friends and family. Frozen images of fellow journalists who paid the price to the conflict shown on wide screen at the beginning of the event. And a moment of silence was observed. It was a sorrowful moment for all in the hall. The commitment showed to their chosen profession of these fellow journalists was discussed by the mates during the reception after the event.
Journalists from all media houses in Sri Lanka gathered under one roof to wish and witness. Dancers added colour and joy to the gala night. The event was attended by a large number of journalists, activists and students.
Kandyan drummers welcome the invitees
Oil lamps are lit to inaugurate the ceremony
Traditional Tamil drums (Thavil) being played
Ranga Kalansooriya, Director of Sri Lanka Press Institute welcoming the gathering
Gold Medalists – M.T.M.Aluharudeen, T.Sabaratnam, G.S.Perera,Mallika Wanigasundara and Vijita Fernando.
They were awarded Gold Medals. President of the Sri Lanka Muslim Media Forum N.M. Ameen wrapped them with Golden Shawls and the Chairman of Thinakkural Newspaper S.P. Samy garlanded them
Audience rose from their seats as a respect while the the Gold Medatils were awarded
Ombudsman A.H.M.Aswar and the Managing Director of Uthayan Publications S.Saravanapavan among the audience
“I want to spend my life time loving you” was sung by Ricky Bahar and Shenel Fernando
Awards were given to human interest stories to news reports on politics, and the daily struggle of the common man.
D. R. Wijewardene Award for Earning the Appreciation of Peers and the Public was awarded to Late Dharmaratnam Sivaram (Taraki) The award was received by Mr. Somasundaram
Chief Guest Dr. D.B. Nihalsinghe delivering his speech
Bharatha Natyam recital by the students of Subashini Jeevanantham
Cartoonist of the Year 2006 is Suppaiah Jeyabalan of the Virakesari
Journalists covering the ceremony
Multi-Cultural dance was performed for the song written by Thilakaratne Kuruwita Banda
Photojournalist of the year 2006, Ishara Anruddha Kodikara of The Nation received his award from the Editor of The Sunday Island Manik De Silva
Performance by Channa-Upuli dance troupe
“I feel energised and encouraged” said Somasekaram Jeyamurale of Thinakkural who won the D. B. Dhanapala Best Journalist of the Year 2006, Tamil
Subramaniyam Chettair Social Development Reporter of the Year, Merit Award was presented to Niranjani Roland of Metro newspaper by Pramod De Silva, News Editor of the Daily News
Deputy Director of Media Resource Center of the Sri Lanka Press Institute Kalasuri A. Sivanesaselvan, The Editor of The Sunday Times Sinha Ratnatunga and Defence Columnist Iqbal Athas
Kshama Ranawana, English Complaints Officer of Sri Lanka Press Complaints Commission and The Editor of Daily Mirror Champika Liyanarachchi on stage to present the SCOOP of the year award, to Sonali Samarasinghe of The Sunday Leader. Her award was received by her sister Dr.Ruvini Moragoda, as Sonali Samarasinghe is currently travelling abroad
An elegant dance by Channa-Upuli dance troupe
Sepala Gunasena Award for Defending Press Freedom in Sri Lanka – awarded to Sunanda Deshapriya by the Chairman of the Thinakkural Publications S.P. Samy
Upali Wijewardena Feature Writer of the Year 2006, English -awraded to Dharisha Bastians of The Nation; receiving her award form the Editor of the Maubima newspaper Thilakaratne Kuruvita Bandara
D. B. Dhanapala Best Journalist of the Year 2006, English – Ranee Mohamed of The Sunday Leader, received the award from Ratnasabapathy Prabhakan, the editor of the Daily Virakesari
Dancers kept the floor tapping
D. B. Dhanapala Best Journalist of the Year 2006, Sinhala – awarded to Janiytha Seneviratne of Divaina is received the award from Ratnasabapathy Prabhakan, the editor of the Daily Virakesari
Senior journalist T. Sabaratnam accompanied by Arjuna Ranawana, the Director General of Sri Lanka College of Journalism
A token of appreciation being handed over to the Chief Guest Dr.D.B.Nihalsinghe
Extravagant event ended with encouragement and enthusiasm
WINNERS: Mervyn de Silva Journalist of the Year
Merit Certificates: Puvirajasingham Christopher Kamalendran (Sunday Times), Sajeewa Wijeweera (Lankadeepa.
Award: Sonali Samarasinghe (The Sunday Leader)
Scoop of the Year Award Sonali Samarasinghe, Best Environmental Reporter of the Year Hema Sri Amarasinghe (Sathdina). Subramaniyam Chettair Social Development Reporter of the Year, Merit Certificates Shyamalee Murugesu (The Island). Award Niranjani Roland – Metro News (Virakesari).
Sports Journalist of the Year, Merit Certificate Namal Pathirage (Lankadeepa). Award Mohamed Saadi Thawfeeq (The Nation). D. B. Dhanapala Best Journalist of the Year Sinhala Janiytha Seneviratne (Divaina), Tamil – Somasekaran Jeyamurale (Thinakkural), English Ranee Mohamed (The Sunday Leader).
Business Journalist of the Year (Sinhala) – Ruwan Thilina Samarasinghe (Ravaya Tamil – A. L. Ahamed Nifras – Virakesari, English Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema – The Sunday Leader
Denzil Peiris Young Journalist of the Year – A. H. Dileesha Prabhani Irudina, Photo journalist of the Year – Ishara Anruddha Kodikara – The Nation, Best Designed Newspaper of the Year – Merit Certificate – Wasantha Siriwardane – Nation, Award – Thilina Alahakoon – Mawbima, Cartoonist of the Year – Merit Certificates – Jiffrey Kelaart de Silva – Upali Newspapers, Dasa Hapuwalanage – Lankadeepa, Award – . Suppiah Jeyapalan – Virakesari
Upali Wijewardena Feature Writer of the Year Sinhala – P. M. Senaratne – Mawbima, Tamil – No Award, English – Ms. Dharisha Bastians – The Nation.
B. A. Siriwardena Columnist of the Year Sinhala (Shared Awards) Editor – Rivira Irida Sangrahaya Mr. Thimbiriyagama Bandara – Ravaya, Tamil – Mohamed Nawas M. Anas – Thinakural, English – Sonali Samarasinghe – The Sunday Leader
D. R. Wijewardene Award for Earning the Appreciation of Peers and the Public – Dharmaratnam Sivaram
Sepala Gunasena Award for Defending Press Freedom in Sri Lanka – Sunanda Deshapriya
SLPI – Radio Awards – News Story of the Year – No Potential Candidates, News Bulletin of the Year – No Potential Candidates
SLPI – Television Awards – News Story of the Year – News 1st (Victim of the Conflict), News Bulletin of the Year – Merit Award – Live at 8 (Swarnavahini), Award – No potential candidate.