Sri Lanka: Dozen of Defamatory Articles Published by a Website Tendered

( November 23, 2016, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Hemantha Warnakusuriya President’s Counsel today tendered 14 separate incidents involving defamatory articles which appeared in Lankaenews defaming the judges from the Apex Court to the junior most Magistrate castigating their character and calling them “judge-thieves , (vini-soru)”.

sandaruwan_senadeera
Mr. Sandaruwan Senadeera, Editor of  an outspoken media outlet, Lanka E News along with his lawyers are leaving the court in Colombo  ( file photo).

Madhura Vithanage is an attorney-at-law who has been enrolled in the year 1999 who tendered the affidavits states inter-alia that he strongly believes that their lives and their rights could be secured only by an independent judiciary and further states that he has observed there had been series of articles published or appeared in the social media web site, face book named lankaenews in which the judges and the judicial institutions had been critically ridiculed, intimidated and at certain instances there had been scathing attacks commencing from magistrates to the Hon. Chief Justice.

According to the information filed, by Madhura Vithanage stated that the following judges have been attacked viciously when they gave judgments or orders which does not please the editor Sandaruwan Senadheera. Warnakulasuriya further stated that in addition to this news an attorney at law of the Supreme Court Chndrasiri Senveratne is also guilty of high contempt of judicial institutions.

Madhura Vithanage has requested the judges of the Supreme Court to consider these individual applications and then frame charges against Sandaruwan Senadheera and Chandrasiri Senevirathne.

The following judges had been defamed according to the affidavit:
(01) Chief Justice Hon. K. Sripavan & most judges of present Supreme Court
(02) Justice Eva Wanasundera
(03) Justice Buwenaka Aluvihare PC
(04) Justice Priyantha Jayawardena
(05) Justice A.M.D. Nawaz
(06) Justice Depali Wijesundera
(07) Justice Lalith Jayasooriya
(08) High Court Judge Sisira Ratnayaka
(09) Court Judge Sumudu Premachandra
(10) High Court Judge Kusala Sarojini Weerawardhena
(11) High Court Judge Damith Thotawatte
(12) High Court Judge Shiran Goonerathne
(13) High Court Judge Mohan Senenvirathne
(14) High Court Judge Anura Kumara
(15) Hon. Menaka Wijesundera
(16) At random Judges of the High Court
(17) Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya
(18) Magistrate Thilina Gamage
(19) Magistrate Ranga Wimalsena
(20) Magistrate Kavindra Nanayakkara
(21) Magistrate Kanishka Wijerathne

AFFIDAVIT
I, Owitigala Vithanage Madhura Vithanage of No. 148, Kalapaluwawa Road, Rajagiriya being a Buddhist do hereby solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm as follows;
1. I am the affirment above named,

2. I am a Graduate of the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo.

3. On the 6th day of July I999 I was enrolled and admitted as an Attorney-at-Law of the Supreme Court of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

4. I was the former Deputy Mayor of Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte Municipal Council.

5. I am a law abiding citizen of this country and I firmly believe that all the citizens shall have the protection of law and to live in an environment where the State ensures the upholding of Rule of Law while respecting the democratic values and principles.

6. I strongly believe that our lives as well as our rights could be secured and protected only if an independent judiciary prevails in the country.

7. During the recent past I have observed that there had been a series of articles published /appeared in the social media web site/face book named “Lankaenews” in which the judges and the Judicial Institutions had been critically ridiculed and intimidated and at certain instances there had been scathing attacks on judges commencing from Magistrates to the Hon. Chief Justice.

8. I annex hereto a printout of the article which appeared in Lankaenews of 16th September 2014 marked “X”, and plead as part and parcel of this Affidavit. This article contains defamatory and contemptuous articles about His Lordship a Judge of the Court of Appeal Justice A H M D Nawaz. I certify that I myself obtained copies of these printouts from the internet. This article and other articles which are filed separately have attacked both the judiciary conduct as well as the private lives of the judges and caused embarrassment not only to the judges, but to the entire judiciary.

9. Through the contents of the said articles the web site / face book owner/operator has insulted, defamed, and ridiculed the judges whose names are referred to therein and there is direct and indirect intimidation on judges as well as the judiciary as a whole.

10. These articles have attacked on both the judicial conduct as well as the private lives of the judges and caused embarrassment not only to the judges but also to the entire judiciary.

11. “Lankaenews” is a web site/face book owned and maintained by one Mr. Sandaruwan Senadheera from London, United Kingdom, and his telephone number as appears in the web site / face book is 00 447 400927826 and email address is info@lankaenews.com.

12. I state that the contents in the said articles are derogatory of the judiciary and the judges and tantamount to contempt of court punishable under law.

13. The articles continuously published in the said web site /face book is a threat to the independence of the judiciary and harmful to the wellbeing of the general public.

14. I am advised that this is a fit and proper matter to be dealt with by the Supreme Court by exercising the inherent jurisdiction vested in it and impose and implement adequate punishment on the wrongdoer Sandaruwan Senadheera.

15. I know that Sandaruwan Senadheera editor of Lankaenews had his office at No. 11 1/1 Rajagiriya Road, Rajagiriya and thereafter, he shifted Lankaenews office to No. 844, Daham Mawatha, Talangama North, Malabe and his web newspaper was published from that address. Thus his last known address in Sri Lanka was No. 844, Daham Mawatha, Talangama North, Malabe.

The affirment having understood the contents
herein before mentioned affirmed and signed in
Colombo on day of November 2016.

14 affidavits are below;

[gview file=”http://www.slguardian.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/AFFIDAVIT_Lanka_E_News.pdf”%5D

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