For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena yesterday filed legal action against the Sirasa Television and the Sirasa News Director for defamation demanding a sum of Rs 100 million as compensation.
Gunawardena demands this sum as compensation for the damage caused to his reputation by transmitting a false news item maliciously over its Sirasa Vimarshana news programme.The complaint further says that the Sirasa Television network unlawfully and unethically telecast false news causing damage to the good names of politicians leading pious lives according to the teachings of the Buddha.
The complaint made through Jayantha de Silva, Attorney-at-law has named the MTV Channel and the News Director Sangeeth Kalubowila as respondents.
The news defaming the Minister was telecast by the MTV Channel on March 16, 2010.
The news programme has described the allocation of funds for a Pinkama in a school constructed under the Isuru school project as a waste of funds.
The complaint further alleges that the MTV Channel levels attacks on ministers, including the complainant, who lead lives according to the teachings of religious leaders.