Public First Program


Shane Elson


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World Press Freedom Day, May 3rd, 2006.

Columbo, Sri Lanaka

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World Press Freedom Day, May 3rd.

The UNESCO sponsored World Press Freedom day was recently celebrated in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo. A two day conference brought together media practitioners, donor organisations, NGOs and media scholars to address the topic, "Media, Development and Poverty Eradication".

On May 2nd a commemoration was held in Colombo to remember Sri Lankan journalists who have been killed for nothing more than practicing their craft. The commemoration took the form of a candlelight vigil outside the Fort railway station. About 100 people attended and Alternative Radio's Shane Elson spoke with the Free Media Movement of Sri Lanka spokesman, Sunanda Desahapriya.

Christopher Warren is the President of the International Federation of Journalists. Christopher was a delegate at the World Press Freedom Day events in Colombo and Shane spoke with him after the vigil.

Just after these interviews were conducted delegates to the conference were attending a dinner honouring the recipient of the Guillermo Cano Press Freedom Prize 2006, May Chidiac, a Lebonese journalist severely injured in a bomb attack in 2005. The dinner was being hosted by the Sri Lankan Minister for Media and Information, Anura Priyadarsana Yapa. As the dinner was getting under way, Sunanda Desahapriya took Shane out of the room and told him of the attack on the Tamil newspaper Uthyan. In the first interview with a foreign journalist, the Free Media Movement spokesperson, Sunanda Desahapriya, told Shane what had occured less than 2 hours earlier.

Soon after and just prior to dinner being served the Minister offered this message to attendees. As soon as the Minister had left the stage, Sunanda Desahapriya took the microphone and offered this plea to the guests.

Interview with Brazilian senator, Eduardo Suplicy

A basic income is something many people try and attain. that is, they wan to earn enough to pay their basic way. The means to pay rent, utilities and groceries along with a basic education are what we all apsire to. For many, even in developed nations, this is still a dream. But what if there was a way to fullfill that dream? What if there was a way to share the common wealth?

Senator Eduardo Suplicy holds the honour of being the first elected Labor senator to the Brazillian senate. He is also a key thinker and writer on the need for a basic income. His books include From the Distribution of Income to the Rights of Citizenship (published by Editora Brasiliense - 1988) and The Program of Guaranteed Minimum Income (edited by the Federal Senate - 1992).

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Session during the Assembly of World Press Freedom Day


Shane speaks with Sunanda Desahapriya


Candle Vigil to commemorate journalists killed in Sri Lanka


Some of the guests at the Govt. sponsored dinner. Just after this photo was taken we found out two journalists had been killed.


The BBC has trained Iraqi journalists. We had a video hook-up with one of them in Baghdad.


Shane plays tourist.