For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
July 7, 2011
Colombo District Judge T. D. Gunasekera on Tuesday (5) directed Leader Publications (Pvt) Limited and Sunday Leader editor Frederica Jansz not to publish any article or news item defamatory of attorney-at-law Nalin Ruchira Ladduwahetty.
Paul Ratnayake Associates moved the Court on behalf of Ladduwahetty, who is the Defence Counsel for defeated presidential election candidate, Gen. Sarath Fonseka, indicted in the Colombo High Court for alleging that Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa ordered the army to execute those carrying white flags, to surrender, on the Vanni east front.
The plaintiff sought the Court’s intervention citing the lead story captioned ‘S. Thomas College Prefects Assault Fellow Thomian’ in the February 20, 2011 issue of The Sunday Leader and follow-up news item captioned ‘Nine Thomians Assaulted by Senior Prefects’, the following Sunday were defamatory of him. The plaintiff asserted that as he cross-examined the second defendant regarding the indictment of Gen. Sarath Fonseka, in respect of article carried by The Sunday Leader in its December 13, 2009 issue, the defendant had malice towards the plaintiff.
The plaintiff cited three more reasons seeking Rs. 1,000,000,000 together with legal interest thereon from date thereof till date of decree and thereafter on the aggregate amount of the decree till payment in full, declaration that defendants had no right to defame the plaintiff, declaration that the plaintiff has a right to his good name and reputation, permanent injunction preventing publication of articles defamatory of him et al. (SF)