MUSCAT, 31 May: A new regional journalists’ organisation of Asian and Pacific countries, known as the Federation of Asia Pacific Journalists (FAPaJ), was formed on Tuesday during the inaugural session of the International Federation of Journalists’ (IFJ) 31st world congress, which is being organised here in Oman by the Oman Journalists Association (OJA).
Indian Journalists Union (IJU) Secretary-General Sabina Inderjit was elected as the FAPaJ president with a thumping majority. Inderjit defeated Leigh Tonkin of Australia with 54 votes out of 71 votes.
Leigh could manage only 16 votes. Salim Al Jahwari of the OJA was elected as the vice president of the FAPaJ unopposed. Md Alhammadi, Ali Youssef and Mousa Abdul Nour were elected as members from western Asia, Jonathan De Santos of the Philippines was elected as eastern Asia member, Badri Seigdel of Nepal was elected as southern Asia member, and Chin Sung Chew was elected as a reserved member.
The FAPaJ, a regional organisation of the IFJ which comprises five regions of Asia and the Pacific region, did not earlier have a common platform.
Inderjit was instrumental in forming the FAPaJ. She played a key role in assembling the region by organising consultations over having a regional organisation.
“I am very happy that the long struggle of over years has culminated finally by formation of FAPaJ,” she said.
“IJU has been demanding for such regional body of many years. Now, with 10 members’ council, there are bigger challenges ahead to ensure that the FAPaJ develops into a stronger and vibrant regional body of the IFJ,” she added.
Arunachal Pradesh Union of Working Journalists President Amar Sangno was a member of the proceedings, which were presided over by IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger, along with IFJ Director Jane Worthington.
Earlier, the IFJ unanimously adopted many resolutions, including terming blocking and shutting down of the internet “censorship and highly censorship or control of online space,” which was moved by IJU President Geetartha Pathak.
The IFJ also condemned the killing of Palestinian journalist Shiren Abu Aqla, who was killed by Israeli force recently.