Centre for Policy Alternatives on 28 January, 2014

Letter to HRCSL regarding complaint made against ITN – January 2014

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17th January 2014

By Registered Post/ Hand

The Director – Inquiries and Investigations
Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka
No. 165 Kynsey Road,
Borella, Colombo 8.

Dear Madam/ Sir

Complaint Number HRC /3083/2013

I write to inquire as to the progress of the above complaint made by me on the 12th of August 2013. The last communication I received was a letter written by you to the Chairman of the Independent Television Network (ITN) dated the 19th November 2013.

In the said letter you state that the 10th of December is the final date for ITN to submit a report pertaining to my complaint and that of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA). A period of over one month has lapsed since your deadline. However, we are yet to receive any official communication setting out what further action will be taken regarding the above mentioned complaint. Furthermore, it has been more than 05 months from the date of the complaint, during which there has been little progress on its investigation.

ITN has taken an inordinate amount of time to respond to a complaint which essentially impugns the accuracy of a story from its own prime time news broadcast. I trust that you will appreciate the fact that this unreasonable delay is prejudicial to the complainants and the wider interests, requiring urgent protection.

Furthermore in a context where Provincial Council elections have been announced- considering the past conduct of ITN during elections- there is an urgent need for the mechanisms prayed for in my complaint to be put in place immediately in order to safeguard the rights of all citizens of Sri Lanka.

Therefore I request you to take measures to expedite the hearing and conclusion of this matter.

In the event that ITN has already submitted its report, I would very much appreciate copies of same being made available to me and this matter if fixed for inquiry immediately.

Finally I would much appreciate if all future communication regarding this matter be forwarded to No 24/2, 28th Lane, Off Flower Road, Colombo 7.

I look forward to the early grant of all reliefs sought by my complaint.

Please note that I will be releasing this letter to the media in the public interest.

Thanking you.
Yours faithfully,

Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu
Executive Director
Centre for Policy Alternatives

CC: Justice Priyantha R. P. Perera
Chairman, Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka

Mrs. Jezima Ismail
Commissioner, Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka

Dr.Sri Warna Prathiba Mahanamahewa
Commissioner, Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka

Mr. T. E. Anandarajah
Commissioner, Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka

Dr. Bernard de Zoysa
Commissioner, Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka

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Download a PDF of this letter here.