Chandana Keerthi Bandara, a senior producer of the BBC World Service’s Sinhala section has been sacked on charges of harassment and bullying, Colombo Telegraph reliably learns.
The BBC World Service spokesman, Paul Rasmussen refused to give further details, but did not deny the story.
According to inside sources, Chandana Keerthi Bandara has been sacked a few days ago by the BBC, after four controversial recruits made official complaints against him. Its suspended editor Priyath Liyanage, staff members Saroj Pathirana and Thisara Aravinda Rathuwithana from Sinhala Service “Sandeshaya” and Jeyapragash Nallusamy from Tamil Service had made the complaints against Bandara.
Colombo Telegraph has been unable to reach Chandana Keerthi Bandara for comment.
Early this year the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has called for a new approach towards bullying and harassment at the BBC. Addressed to director general of the BBC Tony Hall a motion backed by union members at the BBC follows an investigation into harassment and bullying. Dinah Rose QC was brought in to lead the investigation and make recommendations, which she published in a report in May.
Following Colombo Telegraph’s exposure of the issue of applying Sri Lanka government’s interest free loans, the BBC had to discipline Chandana Keerthi Bandara, Priyath Liyanage and Elmo Fernando by compelling all three of them to undergo a training program on journalistic ethics.