There was a need for a separate alliance for Tamil journalists at the time when there was no
support from some of the Sinhala Media Organizations. At this point all Tamil journalists got
together and formed themselves as Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance (SLTMA).
Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance (SLTMA) was inaugurated in 1999 in Colombo. In 1998
when S. Srikajan, a journalist of (Virakesari The Colombo based Tamil National daily) and P.
Manikawasaham Virakesari Vavuniya correspondent were arrested in July and detained by
the forces till September. The Free Media Movement didn’t volunteer to cooperate to fight
for his release. Sinhala media alliances refused to contribute in this move with their suspicion
that Tamil journalists are interlinked with LTTE. This has caused the birth of Sri Lanka
Tamil Media Alliance (SLTMA). At the time when Tamil media people from Colombo, north
East province and upcountry were under threat the Tamil journalist assembled in Colombo
and conceived the Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance (SLTMA). The first president and the
first secretary and the first treasurer of the alliance were Mr. S. Gurunathar, Mr.
Poobalasingham Seevahan Mr. S.Sivakumar respectively.
Messes P. Manikawasaham, T Thurairatnam, Ananth Palakidnar, S. Rajkumar, R Barati had
served as the consecutive Presidents and Messes R Barati, Vishu Karunanithi, R Sivarajah
had served as the consecutive secretaries and Mr. Srikajan had been served as the Treasurer
Mr. Ananth Palakidnar, Mr. A.Nixon, Mr. Srikajan were elected as the President, the
Secretary and the Treasurer respectively in the AGM held in 27-February 2012 in Colombo
after an interval of four years due to most members obtained asylum in other countries owing
to the war situation in the country.
Our journalists are taking forward the alliance clearing so much of obstacles they face.
The assassinated journalists, Mr.T.Sivaram and Mr I.Nadesan, had strived hard for the
growth of the SLTMA in the early age of the SLTMA. One of the senior journalists, Mr.R.
Barati, dedicated his long service as the secretary of the SLTMA.
We did not have enough financial aids for our activities. With the generosity of a few Owners
of some of the Tamil Media Institution, we honoured the senior and young journalists by
presenting with awards. We organized training programmes in Jaffna, Trincomalee and
Nuwaraeliya. At the time when senior journalist Mr. P. Manikavasakam served as the
president, we met the diplomats in Colombo and discussed the problems of Tamil journalists.
In 2003 Mr. Sunanda Deshapriya,the convenor of the Free Media Movement in a discussion
invited Mr.Barati, then Secretary and assisting secretary Mr. A. Nixon to work together.
We agreed and accepted the invitation. Accordingly five media movements, including Free
Media Movement,(FMM), Working Journalist Association (WJA), Muslim Media Forum
(MMF), have been working, to date for the freedom of the media.
We are currently working with SAFMA too.
In 2000 with the murder of Mr. Nimalarajan our alliance showcased a rally in Colombo, and
then in 2003 it commenced working in association with the Free Media Movement. It is
commendable that five media organizations are functioning together from that date. After the
killing of the journalist Mr.Nimalarajan, the Free Media Movement, the Working Journalists
Association, the Muslim Media Forum, and in particular, Senior Journalists M/s. Gnanasiri
Kottegoda, Lanka Peli, Sanath Balasuriya, Bodala Jeyantha, Suni Jeyasekara, seetha Ranjine
and Lasantha Ruhunuge, have been very supportive in all our protests.
The Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance was established to stabilise and enhance the Tamil
media activities in Sri Lanka .The association remains an integral body bringing all Tamil
media personnel together from all parts of the country .Since its inception the SLTMA, is
supportive of all media related activities and stood up with prime media organisations and
media activists to voice for the rights and the safety of the media personnel in the Island.
Despite intimidations and loss of lives of its members the SLTMA remained strong and
steady in dealing with the challenges it came across. The SLTMA with its dedicated members
island wide remains committed in maintaining the integrity and the dignity of the Tamil
media fraternity in the country.
Our aim is to bring all Tamil media personnel under one umbrella to maintain the integrity
and their professional dignity. While remain an integral force of the Tamil media personnel,
the Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance is also committed itself to voice for the rights of the
entire media fraternity in the country at large. Streamlining the Tamil media community to
face whatever the challenges in the profession is the vision of the Sri Lanka Tamil Media
Our vision: A media that gives prominence to peoples voices and promotes citizens
participation in governance
Our Mission: Infusing values of democracy and pluralism in journalists, and building
capacities of media organizations to enable decision makers to be accountable to the citizens
through their various media products.
General Secretary- SLTMA