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TJA calls on prime minister to support World Press Freedom Day

(TJA/IFEX) - 27 April 2011 - Representatives of the Thai Journalists Association (TJA) and the Thai Broadcast Journalists Association (TBJA) will submit a letter to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva at Government House next Tuesday (May 3), asking him to throw his support behind the 2011 World Press Freedom Day which falls on the same day. The prime minister will be given a T-shirt pin and a campaign T-shirt to mark this important event.

Meeting with the prime minister of Thailand is one of a wide variety of World Press Freedom Day activities to be launched by the TJA and its four partners including the TBJA, the Confederation of Thai Journalists (CTJ), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA).

Other activities to be held under the theme of "Freedom with Responsibility" next Tuesday will include issuing a declaration on the Thai media's stance to help promote world press freedom, hosting a seminar, hosting a competition and video clip presentation, organising a street parade competition, hosting a campaign rally, and distributing 3,000 campaign T-shirts and 2,000 shirt pins.

Amornrat Mahitthirook, TJA secretary-general, said all of the activities are aimed at raising public awareness of press freedom, freedom of expression and journalists' code of ethics.

In addition, Ms Amornrat said the activities will be a tool to help build better understanding between professional media and relevant agencies about the rights, liberties and duties of the media.

On this day, media organisations around the world will organise their own activities in each country. They will ask their governments to respect their rights to freedom of expression and allow people to have access to state-held information to promote participation and democracy, she said.

"We organise the activities in order to celebrate the 2011 World Press Freedom Day and we want to tell the media around the world to unite together and stand up to fight against any threats to press freedom," said Ms Amornrat.

Ms Amornrat said, that according to the activities and apart from meeting Prime Minister Abhisit, TJA President Chavarong Limpattamapanee and TBJA President Wisuth Komwatcharapong will together read the declaration on the Thai media's stance to promote world press freedom at about 10 am at the TJA's headquarters.

Ms Amornrat said after that the seminar titled "Freedom with Responsibility" will be held from 10:15 a.m. to 12 p.m. Invited speakers are news anchor from Channel 3 Kitti Singhapat, Post Today news editor Pattara Khampithak and media lecturer from Sripathum University Kanchana Meesilpawikai.

In the afternoon there will be a media campaign rally at the area around Siam Centre, Maboonkrong Shopping Centre and Central World, she said.

She said that the rally starting at about 3 p.m. and stopping at about 4:30 p.m. will end up at the compound in front of the Siam Paragon Shopping Centre.

TV moderators, news anchormen, radio announcers, DJs, journalists, mass communication lecturers and students are expected to join the rally, she said.

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