Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen has filed a lawsuit against Bodu Bala Sena today claiming 500 Million rupees (US $ 3.82 Mn) compensation for defamatory statements made by the BBS in Colombo District courts.
The statement issued by Minister Bathiudeen is reproduced below in full:
Minister of Industry and Commerce Hon. Rishard Bathiudeen filed action through his Attorney-at-Law against the Secretary of an organization calling itself and functioning under the name of Bodu Bala Sena Ven. Galagoda Athe Gnanasara Himi.
The action against Ven. Galagodaathe Gnanasara was filed since the letters of demand sent by the Attorney – at- Law representing Hon. Minister demanding either an apology or a sum of 500 million was not responded to by Ven. Galagodaathe Gnanasara.
The action was filed at the Colombo District Court against the malicious, false and defamatory remarks that were made by Ven. Galagodaathe Gnanasara thero at a press conference held in Colombo on or around March 20th 2014.
During the Press Conference Ven. Gnanasara made the following remarks.
a) Minister Bathiudeen is responsible for the destruction of the Wilpattu National Park.
b) Minister Bathiudeen has created an exclusive Muslim Zone from Wilpattu to Mannar;
c) Minister Bathiudeen is attempting to create an ‘Arab colony’ in Sri Lanka in the Mannar-Wilpattu area;
d) Minister Bathiudeen was a person who attacks courts and obstructs the course of justice.
The Plaintiff in the action, Hon. Minister Rishard Bathiudeen has repeatedly and categorically denied each and every assertion made by Ven. Gnanasara at all forums in order to make the public aware of the true and factual details of the said construction of the housing scheme.
It is also asserted that the entire press conference and subsequent ‘media drama’ was created and motivated solely by the anti-Muslim, anti-Islamic agenda, a motive that Ven. Galagodaathe Gnanasara pursues.
The Minister through this action demands a sum of Rs 500 million from Ven. Galagodaathe Gnansara as damages caused to him and his reputation as a result of the false, malicious and defamatory remarks made against the Hon. Minister at the said press conference.