Lankan among top five nominees in Canada-UK Media Freedom Awards | Daily News

Lankan among top five nominees in Canada-UK Media Freedom Awards

Dr. Ranga Kalansooriya with Canadian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and Maldives David McKinnon and British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Sarah Hulton.
Dr. Ranga Kalansooriya with Canadian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and Maldives David McKinnon and British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Sarah Hulton.

On November 16, François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Dominic Raab, the United Kingdom’s First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, announced the winner of the inaugural Canada-United Kingdom Media Freedom Award to recognise the journalists, individuals and organizations that actively promote and protect media freedom around the world.

Among the top five shortlisted, out of over 60 global nominations, was the Belarusian Association of Journalists (Belarus), Centro de Investigacion y Capacitacion Propuesta Civica (Mexico), S. Keyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom (Lebanon), Dr. Ranga Kalansooriya (Sri Lanka), and Mary Ajith Goch (South Sudan).

Dr. Kalansooriya is one of Sri Lanka’s pioneers in promoting the safety of journalists, media freedom, and freedom of expression. He currently serves as the Asia Regional Advisor for International Media Support (IMS), on-policy advocacy, research, and capacity building in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, and Indonesia.

The Belarusian Association of Journalists was jointly announced as the winner during this year’s Global Conference for Media Freedom, which was held virtually on November 16 and hosted by Canada and Botswana.

The conference builds on the success of its inaugural session, held in London, United Kingdom, in 2019.The establishment of the Media Freedom Award is one part of Canadian-UK efforts to drive international action on improving the safety of journalists around the world.

Joining the virtual conference Dominic Raab, First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs of the United Kingdom said, “It is vital that journalists, wherever they work in the world, can shine a light on what is going on, without fear of retaliation, censorship or punishment. The work of those who defend media freedoms has never been more important.”

“At a time when media freedom is increasingly under attack, we commend the Belarusian Association of Journalists as it fights to protect the rights and freedoms, lives and livelihoods of media professionals in that country. Its on-going efforts to counter repression and disinformation ensure the voices of journalists and citizens are heard, and matter, when it counts the most,” François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs, said.