Meet the 2016 Road Safety Fellows

Shimla Ahmed
Country: Maldives
Media Organization: Addu Online
Story proposal: Ahmed’s story calls for a transportation and traffic management system in Addu city. Her story also covers fatal accidents on a road that connects islands off the mainland and argues that a more effective transit system will improve road safety.

Shimla Ahmed is CEO and Chief Editor of Addu Online news media. She has written stories for TV shows and in 2016 was awarded best female essayist of the city. As a journalist she covers health, environment, and public issues. Recently she participated in the Indian ITEC program and completed a 2 week leadership program in Hyderabad, India. In 2014 she was named one of the best journalists in Maldives.


Rungthip Chotnapalai
Country: Thailand
Media Organization: Thai TV Channel 3
Story proposal: Chotnapalai’s story covers the issue of car related fatalities, the second leading cause of death in Thailand. She also would like to explore failures and successes and spread awareness to improve road safety.

Rungthip Chotnapalai is a news anchor hosting AEC Plus Weekday's News Program at Thai TV Channel 3 in Bangkok. Chotnapalai started as a business news anchor at ITV in Bangkok and then moved to Thailand Public Broadcasting Services as editor and news anchor. She also teaches several media study classes at universities in Thailand. Chotnapalai holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Chulalongkorn University, a master’s degree in media studies from the New School for Social Research, a Master of Research in media and communications from the University of London, and a master’s degree and PhD in sociology and media theory from Osaka University.


Agnes Rita Sulistyawaty
Country: Indonesia
Media Organization: Kompas Daily
Story proposal: Sulistyawaty’s story calls for action on both the national and local level to improve road safety through new policies and improved infrastructure for pedestrians. Through her reporting Sulistyawaty hopes to engage the public and hear multiple perspectives on the issue.

Rita joined Kompas Daily in 2005. Kompas Daily is a national newspaper published in Indonesian.






K.C. Deepika
Country: India
Media Organization: The Hindu
Story proposal: One of those incredible developments that have happened to the traffic-choked roads of Bengaluru city is the creation of 'green corridors,' making way for medical emergencies in a coordinated manner. However, victims of accidents on the same roads enjoy no such privilege, some of who are deprived of a chance of survival during the 'golden hour.' With the Bengaluru traffic police now being active on social media, a system of creating alerts for accidents could be explored, in addition to a 'Good Samaritan' law that would encourage more passersby and witnesses to lend a helping hand.

K.C. Deepika is a Principal Correspondent with The Hindu - a national newspaper in India. Based out of Bengaluru city, she has, in her six-year-stint in print journalism, covered education and civic issues, among others. Road and traffic-related topics are of special interest to her as Bengaluru, like most other booming Indian cities, is struggling to keep pace with the unprecedented number of vehicles that are descending on its roads with limited capacity every year. Deepika holds a postgraduate diploma from the Times Centre for Media Studies, New Delhi and a bachelor's degree in Journalism, English and Psychology from Mount Carmel College, Bengaluru.


Isabel Ermelita
Country: Timor-Leste
Media Organization: The Dili Weekly
Story proposal: Ermelita plans to focus on the implications of road accidents on the health sector due to the limited options for treating major trauma in her country. Road safety is an under-reported issue in Timor-Leste and she will also look at the underlying causes of traffic accidents in Timor-Leste, what steps are being taken at government level to improve safety and the major challenges that remain. It is also her intention to do follow-up reports on future safety initiatives, campaigns and/or other related issues concerned with road safety in Timor-Leste.

Isabel Ermelita is a News Editor at The Dili Weekly (TDW), Timor-Leste’s only bilingual news publication in Tetun and English. She started her career in journalism in 2007 and has since reported on a range of issues, including gender, agriculture, health and politics. During her time at TDW she has been involved in mentoring young journalists and helped to establish a gender-specific page. She is currently involved in developing a women’s magazine, the first of its kind in Timor. This year she was selected to speak at an international conference in Dili on the topic of women in media and also participated in a series of media briefings at UN agencies in Rome, Italy, covering issues of food security, agriculture development, maternal health, and gender.


Shiva Silwal
Country: Nepal
Media Organization: Nepal TV
Story proposal: Silwal’s story examines the rate of road accidents on major highways in Nepal. Through data mapping, he will determine road accident hotspots. This data map will be a multimedia report, circulated on social media.

Shiva Silwal is a Dhading based reporter for Nepal Television News. Before joining Nepal TV, he was a correspondent for the National Daily Broadsheet. As a TV reporter he has covered a range of social issues and was rewarded by Nepal TV for his impactful stories that sparked a nationwide debate on road safety issues. Moreover, he wants to highlight underreported stories so that more authorities are held accountable.



Elly Burhaini Faizal
Country: Indonesia
Media Organization: The Jakarta Post Digital
Story proposal: Faizal’s report explains how lack of road safety in Indonesia leads to serious negative consequences. Poor infrastructure and lack of awareness are two factors contributing to this issue. This report is a long form journalistic report, which includes photographs, infographics, and a video.

Elly Burhaini Faizal is an editor at The Jakarta Post Digital, the online division of The Jakarta Post, an English language newspaper in Jakarta, Indonesia. She graduated with a masters in Journalism at Ateneo de Manila University on June 26, 2016. In 1998 Faizal began her journalistic career at Panji Masyarakat, an Indonesian language weekly magazine.She later worked in several other media companies, including Voice of Human Rights Radio Programme (VHR) and Suara Pembaruan evening daily newspaper, before she joined the Post in April 2010.Health is her primary concern as a journalist which has led her to participate in various journalism workshops, seminars, and other events in Indonesia and abroad.


Rohan Gunasekera
Country: Sri Lanka
Media Organization: EconomyNext.com
Story proposal: Gunasekera’s story covers dangerous driving and urges law enforcement to punish those who exhibit risky driving habits. He hopes that law enforcement officials and citizens will use social media to protest dangerous driving habits.

Gunasekera is Associate Editor of EconomyNext.com, an online business news service covering a range of topics: corporations, economics, market news, and events. Previously, he has worked at several national newspapers as well as a wire service.


Chandani Jayatilleke
Country: Sri Lanka
Media Organization: Sunday Observer (Lake House) Story proposal: Jayatilleke’s story stresses the need for an efficient public transportation system, greater traffic law enforcement, and new policies that address the multitude of three wheelers on the road.

Jayatilleke is Business Editor of the Sunday Observer Newspaper, published in Colombo. She writes on a wide range of topics in addition to being a business editor and editorial decision maker. She started her journalism career in 1994, working in both the private and state sectors and has held various editorial positions along the way.






Kawser Mahmud
Country: Bangladesh
Media Organization: Ekattor TV and Boxoffice Multimedia LTD.
Story proposal: Mahmud would like to spread awareness on road safety issues and explore best solutions through three different mediums: TV talk show, trivia, and feature news story.

Kawser Mahmud has developed visual contents and media innovations for the last two decades. Through his work, he has developed and produced several audio-visual contents on various social issues, including road safety. He also has worked on numerous projects related to journalism, communication, and capacity building. He has experience in both print and broadcast journalism. He has worked at ETV, ATN Bangla, RTV, and CSB News. He was also awarded a Knight International Fellowship from the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) in 2009.


Nima Wangdi
Country: Bhutan
Media Organization: Kuensel, Bhutan’s National Newspaper
Story proposal: Wangdi’s story covers the problems that have arisen since the expansion of Bhutan’s East West Highway. Bus passengers and transit officials have reported several roadblocks and bus delays.

Nima Wangdi is Assignment Editor with Bhutan’s National Newspaper, Kuensel. Nima also served as Central Bhutan Correspondent from 2006 till 2009 and later became senior reporter. In 2012, he was promoted as Chief Reporter and became Assignment Editor in 2014.


Oliver Slow
Country: Myanmar
Media Organization: Frontier Myanmar
Story Proposal: Slow’s story would like to incorporate text, photos, videos and infographics to tell a story that powerfully shows the impact of lack of regulation enforcement of rules. His story includes interviews with people whose family members died in road accidents, as well as interviews with authorities who are working to try and change this situation.

Oliver Slow has five years of experience working as a journalist in Myanmar. He is Chief-of-Staff at Frontier Magazine and his work has appeared in publications including The Guardian, CNN and Nikkei Asian Review.


Pitambar Sigdel
Country: Nepal
Media Organization: Annapurna Post
Story Proposal: Sigdel would like to focus on two stories. His first story covers two-wheeler road accidents in Nepal and investigates helmet and traffic regulations. His second story covers how much road accidents cost Nepal’s gross national product. Both stories will incorporate infographics and videos to depict the causes and impacts of car accidents in Nepal. His stories will circulate online and on the radio.

Sigdel works as a development journalist at Annapurna Post. In addition, he acts as content editor for Radio Tamor. He mainly covers developmental issues in Nepal but also has written numerous reports exposing corruption and serious environmental threats. He has won several awards including the WWF Media in Conservation Award for excellent environmental reporting and the Excellent Environmental Journalism Award by the Government of Nepal. He has a master's degree in mass communication and journalism.


Hishan Welmilla
Country: Sri Lanka
Media Organization: radiogagana.com / voiceofsouthasia.com
Story Proposal: Welmilla’s reporting project would be focused on the safety measurements to be taken to reduce road accidents. He will conduct a social media drive on Facebook and other social media platforms in order to create awareness on road safety issues.

Hishan Welmilla started his career in Journalism as a freelance writer for ‘ Samudura’ a Sinhalese magazine newspaper published by Sumathi Newspapers (pvt) Limited of Sri lanka in 1990 during his schools days at Thurstan College Colombo. Thereafter he embarked on a journey to become a sports journalist when Sumathi Newspapers (pvt) Limited launched its Sunday Weekly Sinhala newspaper “Sunday Lakbima.’ Hishan later joined The Sunday Leader an English-language Sri Lankan weekly newspaper published by Leader Publications (Private) Limited of Sri Lanka in 1999 with the assignment of covering The ICC World Cup Cricket tournament in England.

Hishan covers wide range of topics, including, business, financial, news and current affairs and Sports and has attended many international events and has received on the job experience to his credit. He currently serves as the Editor in Chief of Srilankaspoerts.com and also serve as a freelance correspondent in various TV/Radio/online Media institutions in Sri Lanka and IBC TV United Kingdom. Also work as the Colombo Correspondent of voiceofsouthasia.com.