IFJ Annouces Finalists of Journalism for Tolerance Prize in South Asia

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today announced the finalists for the IFJ Journalism for Tolerance Prize in South Asia in three categories: print (English), print (Language) and broadcast.

The finalists were selected from exactly one hundred entries submitted to the Prize in South Asia and were judged by senior journalists from around the region at a jury meeting held in Lahore, Pakistan. The South Asia Jury members are:

Minhaj Barna, Former Press Minister, Pakistan's Permanent Mission at the United Nations, Former President PFUJ and APNEC, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

Suman Chattopadhyaya, Executive Editor, Ananda Bazaar Patrika, Kolkata, India.

HK Dua, Editor-in-Chief, The Tribune Group of Publications, Chandigarh, India.

Mrinal Pande, Editor, Hindustan, New Delhi, India.

Jagadish Pokhrel, Associate Editor (Features), The Rising Nepal, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Sunil Wijesirwardena, Media critic and Lecturer at the Sri Palee Campus, Colombo University Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The finalists are (in alphabetical order):

Print/Online- English

· Massoud Ansari (Pakistan), “Valley of Death, ” Newsline, August 2003

· Basharat Peer (India), “This did not happen in my Kashmir,” www.rediff.com, March 2, 2003

· Sweta Ramanujan (India), “Mill on the Loss”, The Indian Express November 30, 2003; “Bridging the divide in this small town,” The Indian Express, December 9, 2003.

Print/Online – Language

· Subrata Basu (India, Bengali), “Nishabdo Biplab Shabdagaoner,” (Silent Revolution in Shabdgaon) Ananda Bazaar Patrika, 25 October 2003

· Uvindu Kurukulasooriya, (Sri Lanka, Sinhala), “Sigiriya, Norway and the Sinhala Buddhist” Ravayya, August , 2003

· Tank Pant (Nepal, Nepali), “Nepalese girls in Indian brothels,” Nepal Samacharpatra, January 20 2003

The jury also commended:

· Naresh Fernandes (India, English), “Redemption Songs,” Outlook Traveler, May 2003

· Nilofar Suhrawardy (India, English), “Why we are all not terrorists,” The Indian Express, September 10, 2003

· Nirmala Sharma (Nepal, English), “New Life for Widows,” The Rising Nepal, December 7, 2003

· Jeyarani M (India, Tamil), “Ilaipara Virumbukirom” (Longing to Retire), Ananda Vikatan, December 21, 2003


· Sharmini Boyle (Sri Lanka), “Women Waging Peace,” Young Asia Television, December 4, 2003

· Sharni Jayawardena (Sri Lanka), “Defiant Art”, Young Asia Television, December 11, 2003

· Srilal Sah (Nepal), “Dudha Balak ko Bihe,” Ankhijayal, September 23, 2003

The winners in each category will be announced at a prize giving ceremony to be held on 20 August 2004 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The ceremony will be combined with a regional forum focusing on promoting tolerance and combating communalism, racism and discrimination.

The IFJ Journalism for Tolerance Prize will be awarded to journalists in five regions of the world. The Prize, supported by the European Union, has been launched at a time when cultural, religious and ethnic differences are increasingly contributing to instability and unrest in many regions of the world.

For more information visit: www.ifj-asia.org,

Or contact the IFJ Tolerance Prize South Asia Co-ordinator:

Laxmi Murthy

International Federation of Journalists, New Delhi


E.mail: ifjsouthasia@hotmail.com