For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
A UPFA Pradeshiya Sabha (PS) member from Medirigiriya was arrested for threatening a journalist who exposed illicit felling of trees on the pretext of flood control measures in the area.
The PS member, Nishantha Pradeep Kumara had telephoned the journalist and threatened him for reporting the news item. The member had not identified himself, but the journalist had recorded the call and noted the telephone number of the caller, enabling police to track down the member.
Police arrested the member and produced him before Polonnaruwa Magistrate U.D. Kulatunga, who later released him on surety bail of Rs 50,000.Journalist Roshan Thushara had reported that, on the pretext of stopping flood threats in Van ela, Kawdamulla in Medirigiriya, a number of Kumbuk trees had been felled.