Centre for Policy Alternatives on 16 July, 2013

Letter to Independent Television Network (ITN)

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Mr. Rosmand Senaratne,
Chairman,
Independent Television Network (ITN),
Wickramasinghepura,
Battaramulla.

16 July 2013

Dear Mr. Senaratne,

I am writing with reference to the Sinhala language 7 pm news broadcast of the Independent Television Network (ITN) on Sunday 14th July 2013.

An item on this news bulletin stated that the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and I, organised a meeting in Ampara on Sunday to further the interests of the LTTE and that the meeting was cut short due to the intervention of the Buddhist clergy and public of the area. The visuals used in the news item did not show any member of CPA or me or any banner or poster naming or in any way representing CPA or myself as the organisers of the meeting. The language used in the news item too was clearly defamatory and intended to arouse public opinion against CPA and myself and bring us into public disrepute.

I am writing therefore on behalf of myself and CPA to request a categorical public apology from ITN on its next news bulletin, as neither CPA nor I, organized any meeting in Ampara on Sunday 14 July 2013. Furthermore, no employee of CPA, including myself, was present at such a meeting. I wish to further state that such an apology be given the same prominence in your news bulletin as the original news item.

It is indeed both deeply shocking and regrettable that any media organization in this country would permit such irresponsible, unprofessional and partisan journalism – even one that is effectively under the control of the state.

I look forward to your swift response, within one week hereof. I wish to also state that in the absence of a satisfactory response I will be considering other remedies including legal action to recover the full extent of the damage caused by the aforesaid wrong news item.

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

Yours sincerely

Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu
Executive Director

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Read this letter in Sinhala here.