With the resignation of Kavi Chongkittavorn as Chairman of the SEAPA Board of Trustees last year, SEAPA announces the new officers of the Board designated during its meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on February 11.
The following are serving as officers until the General Assembly meeting scheduled at the end of of 2014: Wiratmo Probo, program director of ISAI is Chair of the Board of Trustees, Pradit Ruangdit, current president of TJA is Treasurer and Melinda Quintos de Jesus, executive director of CMFR a founding member of SEAPA is Secretary.
“SEAPA wishes to thank the outgoing board and particularly Kavi Chongkittavorn, a founding member, who has led the organization to what we are today. The Board and the Secretariat express our appreciation to Kavi for his dedication, commitment and guidance,” said Wiratmo Probo. He also assured that the Board will plan for the General Assembly when SEAPA welcomes new members from the region. He said, “We will take into account the dramatic changes that have taken place in the region in recent years.
Established in 1999, SEAPA was formed to fill the need for a regional organization that will work to protect and advance press freedom in region. It was founded by representatives of established press freedom organizations at the time: including the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) of Indonesia, the Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility (CMFR) of Philippine , The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) of Philippine, the Institute for the Study of of Free Flow of Information ISAI of Indonesia and the Thai Journalist Association (TJA) of Thailand. The Malaysia-based Center for Independent Journalism (CIJ) was accepted as a member in 2009. These six members work on a regional platform with partner organizations in Cambodia, Myanmar and Timor Leste.
Other journalists who have served on the SEAPA board, include, among others, Endy Bayuni, Sheila Coronel and Chavarong Limpattamapanee. The Secretariat based in Bangkok coordinates and organizes SEAPA programs and projects and leads the search for membership from among established organizations focused on press freedom from around the region.