The programme titled “January 2020, is still black” organised by six journalist organizations demanding justice for journalists who have been victims of various crimes as a result of engaging in the media profession, commenced on 28th January at the Sri Lanka Press Institute, Auditorium.

A large number, including journalists representing the media sector, lawyers and trade union representatives were present at this inaugural event.

Attorney-at-Law Ramani Muththettuwegama, who participated in the first open dialogue which started off the programme, pointed out that among the professionals, the profession that has posed the greatest danger and casualties has been the journalism profession. She further pointed out that if a professional is injured by his or her profession, then the profession in itself is in grave danger.

Therefore, it is necessary to work together as professionals to take care of one’s own safety, irrespective of personal differences in opinion.

Ramani Muththettuwegama, Attorney at Law, and member of the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission, made the opening remarks at this open dialogue while C Dodawatte, convenor of the Free Media Movement, Javed Munavar on behalf of the Sri Lanka Muslim Media Forum, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Association of Professional Journalists Duminda Sampath, General Secretary of the Trade Union Congress Dharmasiri Lankapeli,  A. Nixon on behalf of the Tamil media collective and Shalika Wimalasena on behalf of the Young Journalists Association joined in the discussion sharing their perspectives.

Following the dialogue, journalists and civil society representatives conducted a ‘lighting of lamps’ event at the Lipton Circus to commemorate the journalists who have been assassinated and faced numerous attacks harassments. The event which was attended by a large number of social activists including journalists commenced at 6.00 pm and continued until 7.30 pm.

The media organization collective

#Free Media Movement

# Sri Lanka Association of Professional Journalists

# Federation of Media Employees’ Trade Unions

# Sri Lanka Muslim Media Forum

# Young Journalists Association

# Tamil Media collective