To safeguard free speech that free immediately Julian Assange is and that drop all charges against him.

Ms. Elizabeth M. Allen, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, State Department of the United States of America, visited Sri Lanka and delivered a speech on “Global Media Space and Its Impact on Democracy” followed by an engaged panel discussion organized by the Sri Lanka Press Institutes.

In that discussion, Dharmasiri Lankapeli, General Secretary of the Federation of Media Employees Trade Unions Sri Lanka, raised a question as follows from her.

“The International Federation of Journalists has organized a worldwide protest campaign these days with its affiliates to pressure the US government to release Julian Assange and drop all charges. They say that this is a serious issue and affects the freedom of expression in the world. We as journalists worldwide believe it is also part of freedom of Expression. What do you think?”

The answer given by Ms. Elizabeth M. Allen can be watched in below attached video.

War in Gaza: Journalists are under attack!

Since the beginning of the war in Gaza, at least 67 journalists and media workers have been killed, several have been injured and others are missing. 

The full report issued by the IFJ is below.

In the early hours of 7 October, Hamas launched a horrific, unprecedented attack in southern Israel. In response, Israel retaliated with airstrikes over the besieged Gaza Strip and formally declared war on Hamas. On the night of 13 October, the Israeli army instructed more than one million Palestinians in the north of the Gaza Strip to move to the south of the territory, in anticipation of bombing and possible invasion. The loss of life on both sides is already tragic. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has concern for the welfare of civilians and journalists alike.

FMETU condemn the assault and arrest of journalist Dineth Kumara!

It is reported that Sri Lanka Television Corporation’s Kuliapitiya Regional Correspondent Mr. Dineth Kumara was reporting a news story from the Bingiriya Police when the relevant police officers questioned him, assaulted him damaged his camera equipment and arrested the journalist, and imprisoned him. See FMETU’s full statement below against this unlawful incident.

 

Sri Lanka Journalism-Towards Rights with Responsibilities- IFJ-UTU 2023 Challenges and Way Forward for Journalists highlighted by FMETU.

Challenges faced by Journalists in Sri Lanka today and the way forward were discussed at an all-island meeting of the Federation of Media Employees Trade Unions.

This meeting was the final activity organized by FMETU under the International Federation of Journalists, Union to Union, 2023 program.  The event took place online on 23 November 2023.

The program this year focused on creating greater awareness amongst journalists on the rights and responsibilities of Sri Lankan Journalists and strengthening the FMETU as a united body. A strategic plan for 2024/ 25 was designed with the collective participation of FMETU members from all districts.

 

The keynote address at the meeting to discuss the challenges and way forward, titled “2024-25-  FMETU Future Plans and Duties, Responsibilities of Journalists”,  was delivered by a leading activist of the Young Journalist Association, Tharindu Udawaragedara. He explained at length the “Strategic Engagement Plan 2024-25” and explained the responsibilities assigned to the members.  The presentation was followed by a lively discussion amongst the participants.

Members then provided their input for prioritization of issues identified in the strategic plan. Over 100 journalists provided input through a Google form designed for this purpose.

The FMETU 9th National Delegates Conference was also held concurrently with this event.

The delegates conference was conducted under the leadership of Indira Navagamuwa who was elected as the pro temp chair.

The past Delegate Conference report was presented by Dharmasiri Lankapeli. After the Secretary presented the annual report.

The new office Bearers for the two years 2024-25 were proposed and elected.  Nine members were elected to the Board and sixteen were elected to the executive council. The entire executive board consists of twenty- five members. The Assembly unanimously approved the 2021-22 audit report presented by the Treasurer, Rizwan Segu Mohideen. The program concluded with the delivery of the vote of thanks by the General Secretary, Lankapeli.

FMETU, 26 November, 2023

 

 

IFJ team appeals to support to ‘Palestine Journalists Syndicate’.

After six weeks of war in Gaza, the situation is becoming catastrophic for Palestinian civilians, including journalists and media workers. As of November 17, at least 35 Palestinian journalists and media workers have been killed since the war started.

Today, the president of the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate (PJS) Nasser Abu Baker has launched an emotional appeal to help journalists and media workers in Gaza. Watch the video: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bf-fu5OGIfc

The PJS president encourages all who want to help Gaza’s journalists and media workers to continue their work to contribute to the IFJ International Safety Fund, which will pass donations directly to the PJS to fund further aid. Working through affiliates, the IFJ is the only international body that provides aid through journalists’ own organisations.

Palestinian journalists need our help more than ever, and this is only possible with your support and solidarity. We appreciate your solidarity in these difficult times.

We encourage you to share the appeal (Nasser’s videoIFJ statementIFJ blog post) on your social media and with your own members. Every contribution and show of solidarity will be greatly appreciated.

IFJ team

Israel and Palestine: IFJ calls on UNESCO to protect journalists

Brussels, 13 October 2023  – Since the outbreak of the armed conflict between Hamas and Israel, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has been in constant dialogue with its Palestinian affiliate, the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate (PJS), who organise journalists in the Gaza Strip, as well as being in contact Israeli journalists. The IFJ and its affiliates around the world call on Unesco to do its utmost to protect journalists and demand that the warring parties de-escalate the violence, which will only result in civilian casualties, particularly journalists.

Since 7 October 2023 and the first Hamas attack, thousands of Palestinian and Israeli civilians have been killed, including journalists and media workers. Among them, the IFJ counts many colleagues who have been killed, injured or kidnapped. On the night of 13 October 2023, the Israeli army asked more than one million Palestinians in the north of the Gaza Strip to move to the south of the territory in order to carry out military actions. The IFJ is concerned about the consequences for civilians and journalists.  The IFJ therefore calls on both warring parties to respect international humanitarian law and the United Nations Charter.

FMETU conducted a full day workshop to design their action plan for 2024 and 2025.

The Federation of Media Employees Trade Unions FMETU Sri Lanka conducted a full day workshop to design their action plan for the next two years 2024 and 2025.

The program was part of the International Federation of Journalists, IFJ-UTU project for 2023. Rainbow Institute Sri Lanka was delighted to collaborate in this important initiative to empower journalists’ island wide. The facilitators were Dileepa Samarasinghe and Mahishka Fernando.

16 participants have participated and they discussed the below tropics to find solutions their own way.

 

Key action areas – to be divided into plans for 2024 and 2025

Topics Sub-areas Expectations
1. Addressing issues, challenges and preparing structures ·       welfare schemes, salary schemes and professional rights

 

·       How to implement schemes

·       How can they pay the Rs1200 per year? Annual membership fee

2. Categories journalists and media workers (including women journalist, state media sector, provincial and young journalists) and design intervention to mobilize ·       collective bargaining agreements for state media journalists (ide

·       strengthen the FMETU affiliates  unions

·       Identify how to mobilize journalists from each area

·       How to  strengthen the FMETU affiliates  unions

 

3. Update/ improve the FMETU website and start an online news bulletin
4. Training (journalists to fit into the digital economy)  
5. Annual budget for the union Strategies to pay annual   membership fee How can they pay the Rs1200 per year?

World Day for Decent Work: “Young journalists deserve more protection”-says IFJ

 “Quality information depends on decent working conditions for all media workers and young journalists should be no exception,” says the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). On 7 October, the Federation will mark the World Day for Decent Work by launching a global survey to assess the needs of young media workers.

 In recent decades, precarious working conditions, including poor pay, lack of contracts, heavy workloads, and stress and job insecurity have blighted the news sector. Young workers have particularly suffered.

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