20th May 2001
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They shone in 2000

Long Service Awards

* Presented by Mr. Philip Cooray, former Editor of the Weekend Express and Member of The Guild, to Mr. M. A. de Silva. 

* Mr. de Silva who was a close associate of former Prime Minister Sir John Kotelawela, was Editor of the Dinamina in the 1960s and has been teaching journalism for over 25 years.

* Presented by Mr. A. Sivanesaselvan, Editor of the Thinakkural, to Mr. P. A. Sivam.

Mr. Sivam has been a long standing correspondent with the Virakesari covering events in and around the Kandy district.

Presented by Mr.Upali Tennakoon, Secretary of The Guild and Editor of the Divaina, to Mr. D. B. Udalagama.

Mr. Udalagama started journalism as a courts reporter from Kurunegala and later became the Assistant Editor of the former Times of Ceylon. He was well known in the 1960s and 1970s for his columns Gulliver and Gamarala.

Merit Awards

 D. B. Dhanapala Award for the Scoop of the Year 

-Presented by the Secretary of The Editors Guild, Mr. Upali Tennakoon to Mr. Lasantha Ruhunage of the Ravaya for his report on domestic gas cylinders becoming smaller, which was published on March 5, 2000.

Prof. K. Kailasapathy Award for Reporting Under Special Circumstances 

-Presented to the Thinakathir newspaper for their continued publication in Batticaloa.

Best Foreign Report of the Year 

-Presented to Mr.Thalif Deen of The Sunday Times for his coverage of the United Nations in relation to Sri Lanka.

Sports Journalist of the Year 

-Presented by Mr. Siri Ranasinghe, Editor of the Lankadeepa, to Mr. Namal Pathirage of the Daily Mirror for his report on two top umpires failing a major test published on August 28, 2000.

Cartoonist of the Year 

-Presented to Mr. Dasa Hapuwalanage of Lakbima for his depiction of censorship on June 5, 2000.

-To Mr. Ajith Seneviratne of Ravaya for his contribution to news photography and the work published in the Ravaya.

-To . Mr. Saranapala Pamunuwa of the Divaina for his picture of elephants eating garbage published on December 9, 2000.

-To Mr. J. Weerasekera of The Sunday Times for his picture capturing an emotional moment between an army general and the mother of a soldier missing in action, published on October 29, 2000.

-To Mr. Chathura S. Kodikara of the Lankadeepa for recording spring-cleaning by Buddhist monks published in the Irida Lankadeepa on January 23, 2000.

-To Mr. Dhaminda Harsha Perera of the Daily Mirror for freezing a rare moment of political disappointment on September 4, 2000.

Best Designed Newspaper of the Year 

-Presented by Mr. Lalith Alahakoon,Editor of the Daily Mirror, to the Ravaya for its use of graphics and pictures in a black and white layout.

-To Divaina for its extensive use of colour and generally effective representation.

-To Pathukavalam of Jaffna for its presentation in the Tamil medium.

Young Journalist of the Year 

-Presented by Mr.Sarath Cooray, Editor of the Dinamina, to Ms. Nilika de Silva of The Sunday Times for her good coverage on a wide range of subjects.

-To Mr. Buddhika Weerasinghe of Lakbima for his wide coverage on a range of subjects in the Lakbima.

Best Journalist of the Year

(Tamil category) 

Presented to Mr. A. Nadesan of Virakesari for good coverage of regional affairs and consistently good reportage.

-To Aathavan
-To Sarinihar 

Special Awards made by the Panel of Judges

-Presented by Prof. Tissa Kariyawasam, a member of the Panel of Judges to Mr.W. Wijesoma of The Sunday Island for his sustained and consistent excellence as a cartoonist.

-Presented by Mr. Vijitha Yapa, former Editor of The Island and The Sunday Times, to Mr. Karunadasa Sooriarachchi of the Irida Divaina for his contributions to human-interest stories and a regular column highlighting unique stories of ordinary people.

Main Awards

 Best Journalist of the Year - Sinhala Language Press 

Presented by Mr. Ariya Rubasinghe, Director General (Press) at the Presidential Secretariat to Mr. Ranjith Ananda Jayasinghe of the Lankadeepa for his in-depth coverage of political, economic and legal issues.

Best Journalist of the Year - English Language Press

-Presented by Mr. Edmund Ranasinghe, former Editor and Director of Upali Newspapers to Ms. Sonali Samarasinghe of The Sunday Leader for her all round excellence in reporting and sub-editing.

 D. R. Wijewardene Award for Earning the Appreciation of Peers and Public

-Presented by Mr. Ranjit Wijewardene, Chairman of Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. and President of the Newspaper Society of Sri Lanka, to Ms. Ranee Mohamed of The Sunday Leader for her heart-rending features in general and a report in the Sunday Leader on October 8, 2000 on the plight of a destitute mother and her sick daughter who was a rising athletic star.

 Upali Wijewardene Award for Feature Writer of the Year 

Presented by Mrs. Lakmini Welgama, Chairman of Upali Newspapers Ltd., to Mr. Daminda Jeevan Ranasinghe of Lakbima for his exhaustive news features on a wide range of subjects and interests.

 D. B. Dhanapala Award for the Scoop of the Year 

Presented by Ms. Sunitha Meegahawatte, the daughter of the late D. B. Dhanapala, to Ms. Sonali Samarasinghe of The Sunday Leader for the in-depth report on a case being investigated by the Independent Commission on Bribery and Corruption in the Sunday Leader in July 2000.

 B. A. Siriwardene Award for the Columnist of the Year

-Presented by Prof. J.B. Disanayaka, Journalism Department, University of Colombo, to Mr. Harith Gunawardena of Irida Divaina for his "King Barnet" column.

 Prof. K. Kailasapathy Award for Reporting Under Special Circumstances

Presented by his widow Mrs. Swarnamangalam Kailasapathy,to Mr. Mylvaganam Nimalarajan of Virakesari, Ravaya and BBC Jaffna correspondent. This Award was posthumously made for his courageous reporting under difficult conditions, for providing an insight into political, economic and social life in the Jaffna peninsula and paying with his life for the commitment he showed to his chosen profession.

 Sports Journalist of the Year 

Presented by Mr. Lucien Rajakarunanayake, Chairman of Lake House, to Mr. Asoka Gunathilake of the Divaina for his consistently good coverage and versatility in reporting sports and the power play behind the games. This Award was sponsored by the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka.

 Photographer of the Year 

Presented by Mr. M. G. Wenceslaus, Chairman of Express Newspapers Ltd., to Mr. Sajeewa Chinthaka of the Lakbima for his consistently good news photographs published in the Lakbima and the wide scope of his coverage.

 Best Designed Newspaper of the Year 

-Presented by Mr. Amal Jayasinghe (Convenor) of the Panel of Judges, to The Sunday Times for its effective modular layout, the good display of pictures and the extensive use of graphics to illustrate news stories and feature articles.

 Young Reporter of the Year 

-Presented by the Ambassador of the European Union Ilkka Uusitalo, to Ms. Dilrukshi Handunnetti of The Sunday Times for her extensive and balanced coverage of power struggles both in and outside parliament and consistently good reportage on political and social affairs. This Award was sponsored by the European Union Delegation in Sri Lanka 

 Mervyn de Silva Journalist of the Year 2000 

-Presented by Ms. Lindsay Ross, Press Freedom Director of the Commonwealth Press Union, to Ms. Sonali Samarasinghe of The Sunday Leader for displaying an impressive capacity to tackle divergent subjects from arts and culture to politics and economics, demonstrating dexterity in providing insights into serious political issues and providing political satire, for the depth of reporting and analysis, for several scoops and news features, sub-editing and consistently good coverage of controversial as well as crucial political; economic and social issues.

The independent Panel of Judges comprised the Bureau Chief of Agence France-Presse Amal Jayasinghe, former Editor Thinakaran R. Sivagurunathan, Senior Journalist Hema Gunawardene, Secretary, Newspaper Society of Sri Lanka James Lanerolle, former Editor of the Island and The Sunday Times Vijitha Yapa, Head of the Sinhala and Mass Communications Faculty at the Sri Jayewardenepura University Prof. Tissa Kariyawasam and Immediate Past President of the Institute of Sri Lankan Photographers L.E. Samararatna. 

The sponsors of the event were Reuters, the European Union, Slimline, Ceylon Tobacco Company, Carlsberg, the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka and Mt. Lavinia Hotel.

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