Feb 13, 2017

‘Abominable’ media cannot be allowed to fabricate falsehoods - LeN Featured

The government legalized the right to information to establish the people’s right to information, and not to allow ‘abominable’ media to fabricate total falsehoods, says lankaenews.com website.

Officials responsible for the RTI need to act against such ‘abominable’ media, or else the mere existence of law will be meaningless for the public, it says.

The website refers to an article in yesterday’s (12) ‘Sathhanda’ that claims two FCID officers narrowly escaped arrest by the FBI in California while investigating an act of corruption committed by Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

It says that legal action is going to be taken against the article under clause five of the RTI, which prevents the publication of anything that harms diplomatic ties with another country.

The article has been published on a need by Gotabhaya after he had a discussion with the newspapers owner, says LeN.

After getting to know that legal action was to be taken against him, the newspaper owner has used a website owned by him to say the content of the article was wrong.

The complaint

Senior DIG Ravi Vidyalankara and chief inspector Anura Premaratne went to California to probe a complaint by minister Mangala Samaraweera over the continued payment of a 8,000 dollar monthly rental for the residence of consul Hector Weerasinghe, plus television, telephone and internet charges, even after his death in July 2013.

Two Army men, sent ostensibly to serve at the consulate, had taken up residence at that house, where Gotabhaya’s son and his wife had stayed.

They had used the consul’s vehicle and the two Army men had acted as the driver and bodyguard of the wife of Gotabhaya’s son.

That vehicle had made daily trips to Pomona College, where she had been studying.

The two Army men, while drawing salaries from the Army, received salaries, overtime and other payments from the foreign affairs ministry too.

All these came to light after Swarna Premachandra, sister of slain politician Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and appointed the consul, she conducted an audit.

Based upon the revelation, minister Samaraweera lodged a complaint with the FCID, whose director and another official then left for California for the investigation.

The weekend newspaper and the website owned by it also carried out a poster campaign based on the said article, causing inconvenience to the two countries at diplomatic level.

Previously, it was involved in a similar campaign of falsehood, saying that civil society leaders were going to accept ministerial positions.

Related articles:

FCID Chief narrowly escapes arrest in America

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