When first told that I had been selected to be one of 11 journalists from the Asia region for SEAPA Fellowship, thing that came to my mind was “is this the beginning of the membership of East Timor into the ASEAN community’. But then I realized that actually this is just an excellent and a phenomenal journalism fellowship.
I had felt as an East Timor’s ambassador to ASEAN when sitting at the same table with my fellow journalists in Akmani Hotel, Jakarta, last June during the De – briefing session. I must honestly admit that this must be a noble and the highest award for journalists in ASEAN that gives a high moral message to the media community to become more sensitive and focused on researching the hidden side of life of ASEAN people.
Being as one of the SEAPA Fellow 2011 which multiply the story of the lives of Myanmar refugees and foreign workers who live in fear and unclear status in Malaysia gave a deep message that the ASEAN community must uphold human values and a mutual respect for each difference be it religious, ethnic, race and skin color. (Gil da Silva)